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1 Introduction The Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research was established in 1985 at the request of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Its charge was to â¢ Review research on wild horses and burros completed since 1982; â¢ Assess the research recommendations of an earlier committee of the National Research Council in light of current issues, and update these rec- ommendations if necessary; â¢ Develop guidelines to assist the BLM in contracting for additional research studies; â¢ Monitor the progress of contracted research projects; and â¢ Evaluate the final reports of the research projects and prepare a final committee report. Under this arrangement, the BLM expressed its views on the priorities for research to be conducted. The committee then presented its research recommendations and guidelines. Three areas of research were chosen by the BLM: wild horse population genetics, control of fertility in wild horses, and simulation modeling of alternative population-control strategies. The areas chosen for research focused exclusively on wild horses. Wild burros were not studied in any of the research reviewed by this committee. In 1985, requests for proposals (RFPs) were issued by the BLM. The committee carried out a scientific review of the responses to the RFPs. Subsequently, the BLM awarded a grant to the University of California at Davis for a genetics research project and to the University of Minnesota for a fertility control project. The modeling research was not funded because of data limitations. This report reviews the design and results of BLM-funded research on
2 WILD HORSES: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY wild horse genetics and on fertility control. It is based on meetings with the research groups from the University of California at Davis and the Univer- sity of Minnesota over a 4-year period as well as numerous other communications. The report also addresses concerns expressed by some individuals and interest groups that injuries to and deaths of horses during the conduct of these research projects have compromised the integrity and usefulness of the research results.