Feral Equids in Nevada

While the Reno area of Nevada may not have much to offer a visiting mammal twitcher, it is sometimes a stopover for work or spouses and so on, so I thought I would pass on a seemingly reliable mustang site. (This post takes no stand on whether introduced animals count, or even if the feral horse belongs in North America at all.)

In June 2013 I had multiple mustangs west and north of the intersection of US 50 and US 50 (alt) / US 95 (alt), near Silver Springs. This is an open, badlands sort of habitat, but a motel clerk in Fernley says that the horses are common (as highway signs indicate), partly because people feed them. Broadly speaking, this is about an hour and a half east of Reno; if coming up 395 from the California / Owens Valley, the cut-off would be via Dayton, not Reno proper. I’ve also recently had feral horses N of Hawthorne, as well as scattered sightings elsewhere through the Great Basin. A year ago (June 2012) I had feral burros just south of Beatty, Nevada, east of Death Valley. I mention this since on the California side I don’t look that often, but when I am there, I never have any.

Charles Hood, Palmdale, California

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