Managing overpopulation, starvation and mass die-offs in the absence of natural predators
Native wildlife face challenges finding resources in places overrun by excess feral animals. In this new short film, Wildlife Society offers a look into the problems for native wildlife when feral horse and burro populations exceed ecologically sustainable levels.
The film follows ecologist Charles Post on a mission across the American West to better understand how these horses and burros are affecting native wildlife and vegetation communities.
Feral horses and burros are non-native species in North America and can damage wildlife habitats when their populations exceed ecologically sustainable levels. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are tasked with managing wild horses and burros in designated areas to sustain a “thriving natural ecological balance,” but there are currently more than 3-times the target population of feral horses and burros on public lands.
Faced with heightened public concern – and a complex network of legal directives – agency professionals charged with managing expanding feral horse and burro populations have relatively few options to control the resulting overpopulation.
A similarity with the Oostvaardersplassen Reserve in the Netherlands: in the absence of natural predators, land managers need to look for other options to control the resulting large herbivore overpopulation, with cycles of peak densities and destruction of vegetation followed by starvation – leading to animal welfare concerns – and mass die-offs.
Rewilding: as farmland and villages are abandoned, forests, wolves and bears are returning to Europe
Rewilding is often thought of as a fantastical vision of the future. One day we might share the landscape with wolves and bears, but in the present day, it seems unlikely. For many people in Europe though, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for at least the past...
Allowing the Earth’s forests to recover could remove two thirds of all the planet-warming carbon that is in the atmosphere because of human activity, according to a new study carried out by researchers at Swiss university ETH Zurich and published Thursday in the...
The first wolf cubs born in the Netherlands in more than a hundred years have been spotted in the North Veluwe area in the Netherlands. This is confirmed by cam trap footage released by the province of Gelderland on Wednesday. The footage shows three cubs exploring...