Determining Home Range and Preferred Habitat of Feral Horses on the Nevada National Security Site Using Geographic Information Systems
Feral horses (Equus caballus) are free-roaming descendants of domesticated horses and legally protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which mandates how feral horses and burros should be managed and protected on federal lands. Using a geographic information system to determine the home range and suitable habitat of feral horses on the federally managed Nevada National Security Site can enable wildlife biologists in making best management practice recommendations. Home range was estimated at 88.1 square kilometers. Site suitability was calculated for elevation, forage, slope, water presence and horse observations. These variables were combined in successive iterations into one polygon. Suitability rankings established that 85 square kilometers are most suitable habitat, with 2,052 square kilometers of good habitat 1,252 square kilometers of fair habitat and 122 square kilometers of least suitable habitat.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
- DOE Contract Number:
- Resource Type:
- Research Org:
- Nevada Test Site/National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, NV (United States)
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES feral horses; NNSS; home range
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