Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8741
Title: Optimal Control of Wild Horse Populations with Nonlethal Methods
Author: Robert Fonner, Alok K. Bohara
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Land Economics
Volume: 93
Issue: 3
Pages: 390-412
DOI: doi:10.3368/le.93.3.39
Keywords: Wildlife managment,Dynamic programming,Bioeconomics,Wild horses,Fertility control

Effective management of wild horse populations has proven difficult for land managers. This paper develops and evaluates dynamic optimization models of wild horse management for three nonlethal population control methods: removals, fertility control, and a hybrid method combining removals and fertility control. Two state variables are included in the models to account for horses on the range and horses in off-range holding facilities. The optimization problems are solved and dynamic simulations are generated for each method. The results indicate that a strategic approach to nonlethal wild horse population control has the potential to signifi- cantly improve management efficiency.


This study develops dynamic optimization models to evaluate alternative non-lethal wild horse managment strategies. 

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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize the interaction of human use and habitat distribution, quantity and quality.
Develop effective and efficient habitat restoration and conservation techniques.
Official Citation:

Fonner, Robert, and Alok K. Bohara. "Optimal Control of Wild Horse Populations with Nonlethal Methods." Land Economics 93, no. 3 (2017): 390-412, doi:10.3368/le.93.3.390