Public-Private Partnership Renewed for Public Safety and Management of Free-Roaming Virginia Range Horses

.For the sixth year, American Wild Horse Conservation (AWHC) and the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) have signed a non-exclusive agreement to implement a humane fertility control program for the Virginia Range free-roaming horse population.

 The agreement went into effect May 1, 2024.

The Virginia Range area includes US-395 to Highway 95A, and I-80 to Highway 50 and is home to a roughly 3,500-horse population living in a nearly 300,000-acre habitat area.

“Our certified darters will continue to deliver the immunocontraceptive vaccine to horses in approved areas across the Virginia Range,” said Tracy Wilson, Nevada State Director of AWHC.

The Virginia Range fertility control program utilizes a PZP (porcine zona pellucida) immunocontraceptive vaccine delivered remotely by darting to wild mares. The program, launched in April 2019, has seen a 66% reduction in foaling rates by the end of 2023 compared to the end of 2020.  A recently released, peer-reviewed study focused on the effort.  


The NDA and AWHC want to remind drivers to be alert and aware of horses crossing roadways in search of feed and water sources, and to obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits in their areas.

The NDA also notes Nevada is a "fence out" state, meaning if landowners do not want livestock on their property, they must construct a legal fence in accordance with the law (NRS Chapter 569.431).

For emergencies or horses in danger please contact the Wild Horse Hotline at  (775) 353-3709.