Wednesday, April 21, 2010

News from the International Society for the Protection fo Mustangs and Burros

ISPMB's Wild Horse Conservation Program

Partnership with Princeton 
University and the 
Whole Horse Institute

ISPMB is proud to announce that Princeton University 
and the Whole Horse Institute are partnering with our 
organization to conduct wild horse behavioral ecology 
studies. Dr. Cassandra Nunez, Associate Research 
Scholar at Princeton University, and Mary Ann Simonds, 
Director of the Whole Horse Institute and equine 
behavioral ecologist, along with Karen Sussman,
President of ISPMB, will investigate the various behaviors 
of four separate herds under ISPMB's care.

The purpose of the study is to identify the critical variables
of functional populations of wild equids, specifically 
focused on social behaviors of individuals leading to the 
development of a model which can be used for both 
population management and conservation of critical genetics. 
ISPMB's four herds have been managed for a number of 
years in the same environment, but with each herd isolated 
from each other. The herds demonstrate cultural differences 
and thus offer a unique opportunity to study the comparisons 
between herds.

Princeton University with Dr. Dan Rubenstein is "a leading 
expert in the fields of animal behavior, evolutionary ecology 
and sociobiology, with particular interest in equine behavior and 
conservation. He studies how environmental variation and 
individual differences shape 
social behavior, social structure and the dynamics of 
populations." Dr. Nunez has been working with Dr. Rubenstein
on a variety of equid research programs.

Dr. Nunez has a strong background and interest in mare-foal 
bonding and the implication to social structure and survival. 
She has also worked on the impacts of fertility control 
on the social behavior and survival of wild horses. 
Dr. Nunez's current research is investigating animal 
movement in equids to determine the impact of social 
structure on the behavior, ecology and evolution of the 
species. Specifically, how do an animal's sex, age, 
hierarchical status, and reproductive state affect its 
movements and the likelihood that it will follow other animals. 
"Such questions are important to the determination 
and prediction of land use by social species and 
can help ensure effective conservation", states Dr. Nunez.

Mary Ann Simonds has investigated the social ecology of 
wild horses since her undergraduate work at the 
University of Wyoming in 1974. Working as an 
inter-disciplinary scientist Mary Ann has spent 
over 35 years consulting and teaching a natural whole 
systems approach to human/animal/nature interactions. I
dentifying "adaptive social behaviors" such as strong 
social bonds, maternal/paternal nurturing, functional 
social structure, decision making, leadership and 
learning in wild horses has been the focus of Mary Ann's 
work. Stating, "We need new models in science 
beyond the basic population ecology models of 
'management by numbers', and 'prey-predator' in order for 
humans to help facilitate sustainable and healthy 
species." Discovering Dan Rubenstein's and 
Cassandra Nunez's work with world populations 
of wild equids and their interest in behavioral 
ecology is exactly what is needed to evolve the 
science of wild horse management. This research
is critical to both the management of populations 
who reproduce beyond what their habitat can support 
and to help conserve the genetics of those species 
whose survival is at risk."

Karen Sussman says, "These studies will have a 
significant impact on the management of wild horses
on public lands and worldwide." Karen has been 
studying wild herds since 1999 when ISPMB accepted 
the White Sands Missile Range wild horses. 
These horses had not been gathered or manipulated
in decades except to be moved to South Dakota. 
In comparison with the Catnip Herd that had been 
nearly eradicated several times, it is obvious that 
the destruction of band structures from removals 
has a devastating effect on the herds.

The team is developing the research parameters and 
the program is scheduled to start in May 2010. 
The program will offer research opportunities to students. 
ISPMB is seeking funding for the study. ISPMB 
looks forward to working with Dr. Nunez and 
Mary Ann Simonds and gives particular "thanks" 
to Princeton University, Dr. Dan Rubenstein and 
Dr. Cassandra Nunez for their generosity in sharing 
their research and offering support and guidance 
for this program.

For Further Information Contact: Karen Sussman


Your immediate contribution is critical 
to the future of our wild herds. 
WE HAVE THE DATA - can you help!


Buy Now

As many of you know, we sustained the worst winter 
on record since ISPMB's move to South Dakota 
and yet, we did not lose one horse. Add this frigid 
winter to a lagging economy and it could spell 
disaster for the future of our Conservation Center 
and our four herds unless you can help today! 
Our funding and hay supplies have dwindled 
from the extra feed we provided throughout the winter 
to our herds. Unless, we get sufficient funding 
we will be out of hay by the end of this month.

We need $2,000 weekly to sustain three 
of the four herds. $35 buys a bale of hay 
that feeds 4 horses for a week. We feed 
60 bales a week! It would be a travesty t
o have to disperse these herds for lack 
of funding for hay. Any size contribution 
would help us as we continue to seek 
other means of revenue.

Our Conservation program is critical to future of how 
wild horses should be managed on public lands. 
There have been very few behavioral studies done 
in the past thirty-nine years since the Act. ISPMB's 
two herds had not been gathered in decades of time 
until we acquired them making their data collection 
critically important. Saving these rare herds are 
critically important too.

Imagine having two herds that were in charge of their 
own destiny for decades of time! What a treasure of 
naturally healthy behaviors that is. How lucky we are 
to have them. Then we have the Catnip herd that had
been overly managed. They are giving us a great 
comparison of undesirable behaviors that could 
threaten their existence in the future.

Because of our findings, we are concerned about 
the future of wild horses on public lands - not only 
that there might not be any horses left from intensive 
removals by the BLM but what horses remain may not 
have the survival and leadership skills necessary 
to survive over the long term. The constant disruption 
of their harem bands allows younger and younger 
stallions to take over the harems. The simple analogy 
would be having a Harvard professor teaching his 
class and being replaced by six graders. It doesn't 
work and allows for indiscriminate breeding by rogue 
stallions breeding younger and younger fillies. 
It is no wonder why BLM says that fertility rates are 
increasing. They have yet to understand wild horses 
as a wildlife species. We have those studies now! 
Please help us!

As we have said before, we believe that there are only 
two herds out of 199 left on public lands that have 
not been manipulated through constant removals 
resulting in the devastation of their social structures. 
Those herds are the Cerbats in Arizona and the
Montgomery Pass wild horses in California. 
Both herds have mountain lion predation that keeps 
their numbers to a minimum. 
This means that 197 BLM herds may be at risk.

You can see why your contribution is so very important 
to future of all wild horses in our country. We just must
keep our Conservation program moving forward by 
providing hay for our herds until we have more land. 

And until we are over the hump, 
would you even consider a monthly donation?


Special Thanks to our Volunteers and All of Our Donors

We are pleased to have Jo Bunny from MA who is doing 
our Face Book page. Please become a fan of ISPMB 
by signing up on our Page. Go to
and type in ISPMB in the seach box.

We also thank Lee Noel Chase who will be updating 
our website daily. Thanks to the work of Sonya Lee and 
Heather Collins, we have a new face on the web! We thank our volunteer Moms who 
came recently to help with the care of Cate - Judy Dunlap
and Susan Leutheuser. Thanks to Judy Dunlap who 
sent two boxes of towels and quilts for Cate! A great big 
thank you to Jane Marie Erickson from the Academy 
of the Fox Cities in Wisconsin who provided blankets 
and halters for our orphan foals through the Academy's 
"Quilt for Cate" program and Jane Marie's Waushara 
County 4-H Club. Thank you all! Special thanks to 
Cheryl Rowe who does an outstanding job on our 
graphic design, magazines and Constant Contact. 
Thanks to Calamity Cate Crismani who has helped us 
in providing donors when we desperately needed them. 
Lakota Cate was named after Calamity Cate. Special thanks 
to Janet Lacetera who donated five horse blankets, 
milk pellets, 3 bags of treats for the horses. Our foals 
and special needs horses would not have made it 
through the winter without their warm coats! 
We are ever so indebted to Dr. John Fine and Myriam Moran
for spending one month in December with ISPMB and 
helping us through the worst of our storms. Their presence 
allowed Karen Sussman to travel to Montana where she was 
certified and a wildlife darter using air guns and then to AZ 
to visit her children and grandchildren. They handled 
every aspect of ISPMB's operation.

Thank you to all of our donors 
who give with an open heart 
helping us achieve extraordinary goals 
with our horses.


Please watch for our magazine, "Wild Horse and Burro Diary" 
coming soon. We will update you with the results of 
the Calico Wild Horse Removal which resulted in 
nearly 100 horses' deaths - adults and miscarriages. 
This is why ISPMB's work is so important because 
we can prove the devastation caused by helicopter 
roundups of America's wild horses. The only way 
to protect our wild horses is to remove them band 
by band through bait or water trapping. We have the data! 
We have spent eleven tireless years gathering this data. 
This is why it is critical that you fund our 
Conservation project. This project has the greatest 
potential to save wild horses!

Please Forward this email to anyone you think
would be interested in helping us
Thanks for all you do!!!
Thank you from all of us at ISPMB

Karen Sussman, President


phone: 605-964-6866

1 comment:

  1. May 2010, URGENT!!
    The International Society of Protection for Horses and Burros historically has saved the
    American Wild Horse - It’s now time to assist them from a FEMA, State of Emergency.
    Save Wild Horse Annie’s Horses

    Last year’s fall / winter brought record blizzards, record drifts of snow, and damage to electric and water system to all of South Dakota was given a declaration of a National Disaster in March by President Obama and Governor Round’s. ISPMB and horses and Karen Sussman have experienced the best of times, “no horses died.” Karen remains positive and she will remain firm to rebuild her funds and plans to be an international model, a book about Wild Horse Annie was released and Princeton University is having a first time study about the remarkable behavior of Karen’s wild horses.

    The family has experienced the worst of times in debt, damaged and depleted. April weather is still bring records rain. May has brought several inches of snow, floods are where there were none and $ 50,000 in past hay debt is due in January and rising.

    “You are probably asking how you can help. Its simple send a donation of $ 5-$ 10-$15 -$20-$25 on up monthly. You will be updated by a fall birthing of a monthly newsletter blog. Help Wild Annie’s Horses”.

    You can also contact Karen Sussman about larger donations. This is a 5013c non for profit organization. To find ISPMB contact :

    We appreciate every effort to help save America’s wild horses, send a donation today for this URGENT EMERGENCY SITUATION
    Karen A. Sussman
    President, ISPMB
    PO Box 55
    Lantry, SD 57636-0055
    Tel: 605.964.6866 (due to situation please only call 11-5:00 and leave a message)
    Cell: 605.430.2088 (emergency only/large donors)
    Saving America’s Wild Horses and Burros since 1960
    Become a member of ISPMB today!

    Alternative donations

    Veterinarian care
    Purina (Senior or Junior) or equal
    Foul Lac
    Refer to volunteer form and submit per e-mail or snail mail. The form isn’t required for donations.
    Fund raising activities are needed and welcome


    “A friend in need is a friend indeed”

    Send by Volunteer ISPMB , Barbara Ellen Ries