Wild Equid Management – The Role of Fertility Control

Thursday, December 5, 2019  at 1 PM (EST)

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended, declared wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” and directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage the herds “to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance.” In recent years, efforts to maintain this balance have caused the agency’s wild horse and burro management costs to skyrocket due to a rise in the number of animals removed from public lands coupled with a decrease in adoption rates.

In 2013 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended the BLM reduce its reliance on removals with on-the-range management strategies such as fertility control. Two immunocontraception vaccines, GonaCon® and ZonaStat-H, have been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in several U.S. states, to manage wild equids. PZP-22, has also shown promise as a fertility control tool.

This webinar, presented by The Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control, will cover the challenges associated with managing wild horses and burros on our public lands and the role that fertility control could play in managing the herds in a more effective, humane and sustainable way.



Celeste Carlisle, a biologist with more than 20 years experience, including scientific education and outreach, holds a BA in biology, with an emphasis on marine mammals, from the University of California Santa Cruz and a BS in animal science, with an equine emphasis, from Oregon State University. She has worked across local, state, federal, and non-profit organizations, often surrounding issues that involve broad stakeholder involvement and a range of perspectives. Since earning her degree from Oregon State University, she has been motivated by a passion for ecologic health, the challenges of multi-use public lands, and a commitment to developing sustainable management plans for wild horses and burros in the face of often-conflicting priorities and rapid habitat degradation from climate change. Since 2005, she has worked alongside Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation to oversee and implement the fertility control program, and more recently, on-range public-private partnership programs for wild horse and burro management. In 2018, Celeste was appointed to the National Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.