Wild Mustangs In Danger of Disappearing (Photos)

A Controversial Horse

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wild horse photo

credit: Jaymi Heimbuch

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There are a handful of western species that are deeply controversial among conservationists and those who view them as pests or hindrances. The wolf is an obvious one. Coyotes whose populations have grown alongside human expansion. Endangered snowy plovers whose nesting sites keep four-wheelers off the coast's dunes. And the mustang. Admired by many as a symbol of freedom on four legs, the mustang is also vilified as a competitor with cattle for grazing space or as a destructive force on fragile habitats. With so few in the wild spread across multiple states, both accusations are readily debatable.