Wild Mustangs In Danger of Disappearing (Photos)

Tough Horses

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wild horse photo

credit: Jaymi Heimbuch

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Mustangs live in arid habitats, often with rougher forage and fewer water sources than cattle can tolerate. Thus direct competition with cattle for forage space is rarely true. Though ranchers claim they are competition, the truth is that wild mustangs are held to around 27 million acres of public land while millions of head of privately-owned cattle graze across some 245 million acres of public lands, including those acres designated for wild horses.

Also, mustangs are less damaging on ecosystems than cattle -- they can range nine times farther from water sources than cattle can, and have a different digestive system that allows them to get nutrition from poorer forage and leave behind partially digested seeds which promotes biodiversity.