This week we're in Montana for The Science and Conservation Center Conference in Billings. Back in August of 2012, Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. and The Science and Conservation Center hosted an international wildlife fertility conference in Jackson Hole. While I have many treasured memories of Jay and our conversations, a favorite was when he "strongly suggested" I attend this 2012 conference because there would be good people for me to meet, and to share the work I was doing in Idaho with Wild Love Preserve. I said yes, but when I found it an uphill challenge to raise the necessary funding for travel expenses and accommodations, I had to finally call Jay to let him know it didn't look good. His response was classic, "Well, Andrea, I will understand, but I will be very, very disappointed if you don't make it." To that I replied, "Okay, I'll get it figured out." Thanks to a grant from Pearl Jam Vitalogy Foundation I was able to attend, and of course, Jay was right, I did meet many interesting people, and a few that have become trusted friends.
This time around I've been invited to give a presentation about the work of Wild Love Preserve at The Science and Conservation Center Conference, and while Jay Kirkpatrick has walked on, and will be deeply missed, without doubt he will be ever-present. Excerpts from the outline of this talk are below.
Wild Love Preserve + Stakeholders
Andrea Maki will talk about the work of Wild Love Preserve and pioneering a multi-faceted model in wild horse conservation on home turf through conflict resolution and in conjunction with Native PZP as an integral tool.
"Our core tenet has been the belief that to solve the man-made wild horse crisis we must solve this human relations crisis, and that solutions exist by way of collaboration and creating vested interests that turn regional wild horses into assets for local communities and states. Our inclusive approach has brought together the BLM, cattle ranchers, environmentalists, wildlife biologists, wild horse advocates, youth employment groups, and community to create a viable and supported solution to existing BLM helicopter roundups and removals of wild horses from public lands to out-of-state longterm holding facilities, and other end-results.”
“2019 marks the sixth year of our humane and collaborative Native PZP fertility management program which has proven successful in slowing population growth with free-roaming wild horses on the Challis HMA darting with the BLM on the range, and with Wild Love’s adopted wild horses. By design, Wild Love’s adopted Idaho wild horses also serve as our control herd because management on our private preserve mirrors our collaborative work on public lands. Native PZP has enabled us to keep our numbers at roughly 136 over the last six years, and we’ve witnessed firsthand that it does not result in adverse behavioral issues, does not impact band or herd dynamics, has not altered the natural breeding season, does not negatively impact the fetus or cause birth defects if a pregnant wild mare is darted, and we have healthy babies born to our wild mares ensuring genetic viability."
Read full description of this Talk here: bit.ly/scc-conference2019