(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch, Author and Director of the HfH Advisory Council
Prezwalski’s Horses Deemed International Cooperative SuccessWhile the United States of American strips its public lands of native wild horses China and Australia have launched into a joint effort to re-introduce wild Prezwalski’s horse herds back into their native lands in Mongolia.
American wild horses and burros are headed down the same road that the Prezwalski’s horse traveled as they were once considered extinct in the wild. The Prezwalski’s horse had been native to Asia, primarily China and Mongolia with the last wild horse being spotted in China in 1966. The horse is named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky and has never been domesticated, hence it is considered to be the world’s true wild horse.
Back in 1985 while the U.S. federal agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), was stampeding, capturing and killing American wild horses China had initiated the Prezwalski’s Horse Reintroduction Project with the creation of the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding Center. In 1994 China partnered with the Taronga Western Plains Zoo from Australia and introduced several of their Prezewalski horses into the Hustai National Park in Mongolia. Since the initial introduction 10 other groups of Prezewalski have been released into the park. In the U.S. 40,000+ wild horses languish in long term holding facilities waiting to die with only an estimated 20,000+ left free on their millions of acres of congressionally designated land.
In Mongolia, the Hustai National Park is rich in diversity boasting of over 664 different species of insects, birds, fish and mammals with the re-introduced Prezwalski’s horse being a number one draw while in the U.S. the largest wild horse audiences are taxpaying U.S. citizens gathering at illegal BLM roundups to protest the violence and death rained down upon the American icon by Ken Salazar’s BLM.
Recently, Taronga Western Plains Zookeeper Todd Jenkinson visited the Hustai National Park to check up on the released wild horses as part of the cooperative effort and reported:
“We were documenting where the horses were stopping and grazing and their favorite grazing areas,” he said.
“We have biologists studying the areas that the animals spend time grazing in, and the long term viability of that grazing.
“Its early days of those surveys but we think about 500 horses might be a good amount in the park.”
The Hustai National Park is approx. 125,000 acres in size while America’s Twin Peaks area is comprised of 798,000 acres on which the BLM, after a recent bloody round up of almost 2,000 horses, left only 265 wild horses to live free as they were intended to by Congressional mandate. By BLM standards that’s 3,000 acres per horse while the Chinese and Australians conservatively figure 250 acres per horse.
Our BLM’s poor math, junk science and anti-horse propaganda is further put to the test by the benevolent scientists from the Hustai Park and Taronga Zoo through the assertion that the Prezwalski’s wild horses reproduce by only a 7% annual growth rate while the BLM clings to an impossible figure of 20% with herds doubling every four (4) years, figures that even the novice know are totally unattainable and out of scope.
Thanks to the cooperation and compassion of both the Chinese and Australians the Prezwalski’s horse is now longer considered to be extinct in the wild and has been moved to the ‘critically’ endangered list while the wild horses of America are being pushed to the brink with the BLM planning to attack and remove 9,000 more wild horses and burros from their rightful homes over the winter of 2010-2011.
It’s unfortunate that as Americans we cannot echo the comments from across the Pacific:
“The Mongolians are very passionate about their horse…they’re very protective of the species,” Todd said.
“It’s a feel good story and a motivating one not to give up on wildlife.”