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Snow levels making it hard for wild horses to forage, Nevada's Bureau of Land Management monitoring

Wild horses in the Triple B HMA showing concerning Body Condition Scores of BCS 2-3.
Wild horses foraging in a section of the Antelope Valley HMA.
Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 08, 2023

(KTNV) — Nevada's Bureau of Land Management said snow levels are making it hard for horses to find nutrition and to forage across Nevada.

Nevada's BLM shared concerning photos of horses under the minimum body condition score.

Wild horses in the Triple B HMA showing concerning Body Condition Scores of BCS 2-3.
"Wild horses in the Triple B HMA showing concerning Body Condition Scores of BCS 2-3. The snow levels are high in the open areas, minimal plants are visible and the bay horse in the front is eating sage brush which has no nutritional forage and is not conducive forage for wild horses to survive on. Monitoring will continue for both the animals and the rangeland conditions. (picture taken on 3/3/2023)." - Bureau of Land Management - Nevada

"The snow levels are high in the open areas, minimal plants are visible and the bay horse in the front is eating a sage brush which has no nutritional forage and is not conducive forage for wild horses to survive on," BLM Nevada said in a photo caption.

BLM said when specialists assess these animals that rely on public land resources all throughout the year, they should be maintaining a minimum body count score of 4. According to BLM, this is considered moderately to moderately thin on the Henneke system.

BLM Nevada explained how the Henneke system rates body condition scored of wild horses through a Facebook post shared about a week earlier from Wednesday.

"The Henneke system is a scale from 1 to 9 and is the most used method for both domestic and wild horses," BLM Nevada said. "The body condition score is an estimate of the amount of fat an animal is carrying (also called its fatness) and can give a clue to the overall health of the animal."

BLM said it is critical to manage and to monitor wild horses and burros because if the resources are inadequate from drought or overpopulation, "the older, less dominate horses as well as those with increased energy needs will be impacted the most."