Wildlife Authorities Say Wild Horses Not Endangered: No Difference Between Wild And Domesticated Horses

By Rhodi Lee, Tech Times

“The Federal Trashing of Wild Equines Continues…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Last year, two conservation groups filed a petition that calls to include the North American wild horse in the Endangered Species Act with the Friends of Animals and The Cloud Foundation arguing that over 40,000 of these wild horses are threatened to disappear on federal lands throughout 10 Western states.

The conservationists likewise argued that these mustangs are a distinct population with different physiological and behavioral characteristics from domesticated horses.

The petition says that the habitat of mustang has decreased by 40 percent since the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act was signed into law by then President Richard Nixon in 1971.

It argues what the Bureau of Land Management already rejected long ago that the wild horse is a native species for a temporary period of time then went extinct until Spanish explorers reintroduced the species to North America in 1500s.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, rejected the proposal on Wednesday after finding that the petition did not present sufficient evidence to support that wild horses are a distinct population segment. In a new 90-day finding that refuses to study the matter any further, the agency concluded that in essence, a horse is a horse.

The wildlife authority said that while behaviors between wild and domesticated animals belonging to the same species may vary, the petition was found to lack in significant information that could show the North American wild horse may be distinct from other horse populations as a result of behavioral difference.

 BLM, which continues to stand that the wild horses are not native, said that these horses were descended from domestic horses that were brought by the European explorers and others that escaped or were released from captivity in modern times. Friends of Animals said that it was disappointed with the finding of the agency.

“These horses are different, they are treated different under the law, they behave differently and there’s some evidence they are genetically different,” said Friends of Animals lawyer Jennifer Barnes, who added that they plan to look for more details before they would decide if they should file an emended petition to slow down BLM’s roundups of mustangs.

Some organizations such as the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Public Lands Council, however, were not amenable to listing the wild horses under the Endangered Species act.


    • FWS is the first federal partner of an international NGO that attempted to implement the exotic species designation to the horse. Neither FWS, NPS nor the NGO had a nano-cron of scientific evidence. They simply made it up because they wanted the land and knew that the horses would make it harder for them to use the land for whatever the purpose was they wanted the land for other than horses. Whether than putting the burden on the plaintiffs, the burden should lie with the government to present their proof that there was any reason for them to abandon the mission that Congress directed them to take in 1973. Not one federal law, not one measure passed in Congress gave any of these agencies the legal consent to take any of the actions that have been taken through totally fraudulent claims. These agencies need to reopen the refuges, the parks, the grazing lands, and put our wild horses back where they belong.

      Treaties created through fraud or with the intent to commit fraud are not valid. In every case the federal law from FWS and NPS and other agencies took permission to remove wild horses from their Congressionally provided lands were made after the contents of a treaty were in place though not in force.


  1. This is Wallis’ s scheme in motion. By the way they are different from domestic. Look at I the Wild Horse Training in an extreme competition and the way they take to and handle training is far different from domestics. Their genetic markers are different. The way they utilize resourxes is different. Their communication is different. They actually reproduce by need and not by design like domestic horses. Domestic horses are bred to everything however the wild horses only preserve certain lines and weed out stallions to prevent continuation of the weaker lineage. Domestic may have 3/4 young studs covering in one herd. These are vast differences. Including appearance hooves are created and trimmed differently. They dont require shoes. They can make choices in whats to be consumed as food. Domestics get themselves in trouble eating things out of boredom. The mustang sizes up people and domestics have to be trained to know peoples intentions. Hearing on Mustangs is different to pick up minute details domestics tune out. Their senses are constantly heightened unlike domestic. Its a natural issue.


    Records Show Why Director Did Not Act After Investigations Proved Misconduct

    The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is wrongfully withholding documents detailing why top agency officials refused to act on findings of scientific integrity reviews confirming serious scientific misconduct by agency managers, according to a federal lawsuit filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).



    The hierarchy of habitat, the Fish & Wildlife Service, is reeling from a recent expose’ by insider and whistleblower Gary Mowad. F&W’s
    fabrications reveal a lack of credibility increasingly coming down from the very top. The organization, truly has become a bloated tapestry of scientific deception which is meant to de-industrialize America, and in the end, catapult her back into the 1800’s by using doctored statistics and fabricated research to support their broad claims.

    Cover ups galore remain with these wolves in sheep’s clothing who are at the very core of F&W and the damage they have done through the years has been a never ending charade of policies which are affecting millions of acres of not only public federal lands but have been extended far beyond into land use policies relating to the states and county governments which are also firmly connected to this massive network of falsified corruption and administrative legalism which is meant to do away with America as we know it.


  4. As usual, the government chose “facts” to support their desired outcome.

    Evidently they didn’t ask the Forest Service about mustang physiology. “Their bone density is better than a domestic horse. Their hoof density is better than a domestic horse.”


    And evidently they didn’t ask the Border Patrol: “They have a better immune system and better bone structure.”


    I have no idea how many mustangs are in government service now, but this is from 2012: “Turns out the mustangs are actually better suited physically to the terrain than quarter horses. They’re used to roaming harsh landscapes. The Border Patrol says no mustang has been injured on patrol since the program began.”

    “In all, the Tucson Border Patrol sector has about 150 horses on patrol. Nearly half of them are now mustangs, and the agency expects the percentage to grow even more.”


    I read an article by a farrier who said a mustang’s canon and hoof bones are actually different than most domestics. He gradually “corrects” domestics to mimic a mustang’s angles and natural balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    Copyright 2005
    Pete Ramey

    “Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse.”

    So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try. I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away. I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world. I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark. I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world. Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse. I literally had no idea of their potential.


  6. n article about the use of Equus caballus in translational medicine found no genetic differences in the species level between domestic and wild horses. This included the Przewalski’s horse which is often referred to as the last wild horses. Therefore, if one were to use logical reasoning, the differences between wild and domestic horses that exist are found at the subspecies or phenotype level. Since I have one formerly wild, gentled but never ridden mustang, homed with a herd of domestic horses, I have an opportunity to observe how she reacts compared to how the domestic horses react to perceived threats. Domestic horses often raise their heads and begin calling for other horses. My wild friend keeps her head down and appears to be grazing though she is also visually scanning from her eye level about 12 to 13 inches from the ground. She can also detect the sound of footsteps, hoof-steps, from this level as well. Unlike her peers, she remains silent not giving away her location and appears to make herself smaller—a defensive technique I observe when she tries to hide behind horses at other times.

    The Spanish horses whose origins were from Iberia may have had the closest ties to the last horses that were in North America before the Berengia flooded. The horse was a smaller, heat adapted horse that managed to get to the Spanish peninsula before some geological force separated it from the Mainland. These horses were well-suited for the southern, coastal climate of Iberia, and when they were finally discovered by humans, humans used them in their breeding programs,but also allowed a number of them to remain in the wild to be used in the future. Thus, when the Spanish explored the coast of the eastern U.S. and failed to realize how shallow the waters around the barrier islands are, they released the horses whose ancestors had grazed over the very prairies that were now covered with shallow seas off the Carolina’s. These Iberian horses have not been protected as they should have been due to the special traits they have. These should be present in Pryor horses as well as Sulphur and Cedar mustangs. There are about five other sites in the West where these horses were the primary phenotype–Dr. Cothran would know.

    The BLM gets no pass here nor does the FWS. Back on December 20, 1973 when this non-iindigenous, non-native label was first attempted, there was absolutely no evidence to support this claim. There was also no scientific evidence to support the claims of federal agencies in 1993 or 1996 before the first horses in North Carolina were killed. Nada, none, zip, zero, null, etc. In fact, there were gifted biologists and paleontologists such as Dr. Stephen J. Gould, and George Gaylord Simpson who had spent sometime studying the fossil and other evidence. It is amazing that these agencies even tried to get away with this—given the influence Darwin’s Origin of the Species has had on cultures around the world and the prominence, if incorrectly interpreted, in this theory. T. H. Huxley himself said in 1876 that the origin of the horse would not be understood in Europe, but in the United States. The problem is, and it is a problem far exceeding the horse alone, is that people are trying to apply social theories to science without the proper respect for the danger of what can happen when you get science wrong.

    A physicist wrote a piece about the important role of CO2 in drought stricken areas. He explained that an abundance of plants and and animals that produce CO2 can add moisture to the atmosphere making it more humid, thus returning CO2 to the atmosphere and creating moisture for plants and animals through the atmosphere. What have our federal agencies done–the absolute opposite. The question is whether or not they are really this scientifically unenlightened or whether the destruction has been as deliberate as the fraud and cover-up of the native horse has been.


    Copyright 2005
    Pete Ramey

    “The true wild horse is an ENDANGERED SPECIES,”

    How has the horse world ignored the remarkable lessons the natural horse has to offer us? Only a few people have noticed them and very little time has been spent studying them

    These herds seem to be much more relaxed and stable. I’m sure there is always a dominant mare in these herds, but she will be hard to spot. There is almost no ear pinning or pushing each other around. It is the vision of comfort and harmony and the youngest of foals feel safe beside all of the horses in the herd including the stallion.

    The true wild horse is an endangered species, because true wild horse country is almost gone. We had better learn to treat them as such and get all of the answers we can from them before it’s too late.


  8. The first thing that comes to mind is Ember who it looked like had been attacked by a young mountain lion. Ginger was horrified by the wound. She felt for sure Ember would not be there in the spring but she was. Not joy was alive and thriving, her wound was totally healed! No ill after effects! And that wound eventually healed to a long thin scar that’s barely noticeable.

    Any domesticate horse would need months of antibiotics, months of rehab, ice, heat etc. ember was able to recover because these horses haven’t been exposed to domesticate horses who carry all kinds of nasty bugs.

    Another thing that comes to mind is Trace. He was featured in the first Cloud movie. Ginger explained how tough his feet are. Wild horses don’t need their feet trimmed every 6-8 weeks because natural foraging creates natural trimming all its own. And Trace doesn’t need shoes.

    (Joe Camp is also a HUGE believer in natural trimming. He has some very things to say about grazing forage)

    Not a big fan of FoA but then I’m not on their favorites list either…TCF yeah!

    For anyone that wants to see what the top of the Pryors looks like and a marvelous video–Steve Cerroni from the Pryor Center posted a delightful 1 minute video.


  9. The entire purpose of the non-native, non-indigenous, feral, exotic, alien, invasive, potential pest of plant and plant products in natural or cultivated areas was to classify flora and fauna for the purpose of eradication or to control in such small numbers genetic collapse, also a form of eradication would occur.

    The 2014 Farm Bill is written to suggest that the 2005 coming into force of the 97 update of the International Plant Protection Convention now applies to plants only. The Report that the NAS did on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program made a very obvious pronouncement on the origin of the horse for those who are good at reading between the lines. There are several places in the report where the authors write that the origin or the horse is not a scientific issue and therefore, they are not going to address it since this paper deals only with science.

    It is highly probable that the authors were being ironic because, of course, the origin is scientific. However, by saying it is not scientific,, they highlight that our country’s policies are not based on science. The natural question is, then, what are our country’s policies based on if not science. If not science, what? The obvious answer is that the origin of the horse is part of a political policy designed to make it appear as if it is science.

    The origin of the horse is totally irrelevant to whether or not the horses should or should not be allowed to live in the habitat that Congress provided to them using the open and transparent legislative process provided under the Constitution of the United States in 1971.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s like one person put it, whether wild horses are native or not has nothing to do with why they are protected under the Act. Heck, all Gray wolves currently living in the US — please correct me if I’m wrong — are decedents of Canadian wolves yet were still protected under the Endangered Species Act at one time (and I believe some states still have the wolves listed under it). Has anyone ever thought about bringing that up?


    • “All grey wolves” are descended from the wolf populations of the entire continent. They once roamed from Canada to Mexico.

      But I was just going to make a similar correlation as you did – Wolves and domestic dogs is a good example, while sharing a common genetic history and the fact that domestic dogs number in the millions in this country, does not mean that wolves should not be protected under the ESA. The same with wild horses – because we domesticated them and tinkered with their genetics over history does not mean that they were not once wild and free-roaming. There is proof that horses are native to the Americas or at least North America?


  11. For a few months now, I’ve been studying the ESA as part of my ACP exam. I’m half way through an ABA book on the ESA. The BLM has been a “bad actor” with regard to the ESA and ended up being sued many times. I also hold a BA in History — Early American History. I moved to MT in 2001 to attend MSU to study for a Masters in Native American History and Culture, which hasn’t happened yet for financial reasons. Here is an article with a link to a report that Native Americans had aboriginal “ponies” North American Horses before the Spanish ever arrived here.

    https://wizzley.com/the-survival-of-horses-in-pre-columbian-america/ (the link doesn’t work in this article any more for the following pdf)


    One of the books noted in the first link at the end as additional reading is “A Son for the Horse Nation, Horses in Native American Cultures” edited by George P. Horse Culture. I have a signed copy of this fascinating book from a dear friend who is married to a full-blooded Northern Cheyenne.

    I totally agree with Clarie Henderson:

    “Many theories have taken root because of preconceptions and bias. In this instance, no one can deny a long-standing prejudice against Indians, and the efforts which were made to minimize their accomplishments in many areas, and to discount oral history. In light of the above, one might well wonder if the long-held theory regarding the Indian pony is not a survival of these XIXth (19th) century prejudices.

    Definite proof of the survival of the aboriginal North American horse, and of a pre-
    contact Indian horse culture, might yet be discovered. Whatever happens, the few
    remaining Indian ponies should be treasured as part of North Dakota’s unique heritage.

    Horses definitely originated here, and whether the few remaining ponys (sic) are
    throwbacks, or are they actual descendants, they are a living testimony of the state’s contribution to the advancement of many civilizations throughout the world.”

    PRESENTED BY Claire Henderson, Laval
    University, Quebec, Canada. 2-1-91.

    I firmly believe that our native Wild Horses need to be listed as an endangered species from what I have studied. It would force our government to reestablish healthy habitats, which of course would revoke many grazing permits and reestablish HMAs as intended by the WFRHBA of 1971. I use a quote in most of my comment letters as a conclusion to may be leave a lasting impression (or not) that “man” is a hominid “species”:

    “[T]he ESA [Endangered Species Act] hardly poses a threat to the American way of life. The greater threat sad to say comes from the human-caused mass extinction of species currently occurring throughout the world. We need to become better species.”

    American Bar Association, Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives, Chapter 8, Page 152.


    • MTHorseLover, we have a lot in common! I found Claire Henderson’s work of great interest, but after rather a lot of investigating cannot find anything by or about her other than that one letter, which in my view makes her work less than credible. Have you any more references to or about her? If so, please link them!


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