The Birth Control Program For Salt River Wild Horse Is Working

By Jill Ryan
Published: Monday, January 4, 2021 - 9:28am
Updated: Friday, January 8, 2021 - 8:13am

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The Salt River wild horses, once threatened by selective round-up and removal, now may stay wild as their foal population has decreased by more than 80%.

Five years ago, the Bureau of Land Management said it would round up and remove nearly 100 horses from the Tonto National Forest. The Bureau said that without natural predators, the horse population doubles nearly every five years

But since then, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group has implemented a PZP darting program to great success. In 2020, the number of foals born decreased from more than 100 to 16. And only five to 10 foals are expected in 2021. 

The management group says these birth control injections are a safe alternative that keep horses wild, and free from round-ups and removals.

wild horse along the Salt River
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
At any given time, there are about 250 wild horses along the Salt River, according to Salt River Wild Horse Management.

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