The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America
American Journal of Life Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages: 5-23
Received: Dec. 20, 2013; Published: Jan. 30, 2014
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Author
Craig C. Downer, Andean Tapir Fund, P.O. Box 456, Minden, NV 89423-0456 USA
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Abstract
Since the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, debate has raged over whether horses and burros are restored North American natives. Fossil, genetic and archeological evidence supports these species as native. Also, objective evaluations of their respective ecological niches and the mutual symbioses of post-gastric digesting, semi-nomadic equids support wild horses and burros as restorers of certain extensive North American ecosystems. A Reserve Design strategy is proposed to establish naturally self-stabilizing equine populations that are allowed to harmoniously adapt over generations within their bounded and complete habitats. These populations should meet rigid standards for viability based on IUCN SSC assessments (2,500 individuals). Basic requirements are described for successful Reserve Design including viable habitat as well as specific regions of North America where this could be implemented.
Keywords
Equidae, Wild Horses and Wild Burros, Horse and Burro Evolution, Horse and Burro Ecology, North American Native Fauna and Ecosystems, Reserve Design, Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971
To cite this article
Craig C. Downer, The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 5-23. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12
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