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Wild Horse Research


The focus of the QWEC Lab’s Wild Horse Research Program is to understand the ecology of feral and undomesticated wild horses and inform management and conservation efforts.

Location: Worldwide 

Funding source: Various

Select Research Highlights:

  • Dr. Manning first became involved with wild horse research as the National Research Team Leader for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. Jeff worked for the BLM’s Washington D.C. Office, and oversaw all aspects of horse and burro research during his time there, including horse and burro population estimation, immunocontraception trials, long-term population monitoring, and behavior across all western U.S. states.
  • As a Research Fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, Jeff led 3 separate studies on the environmental and demographic drivers of sex ratios, polygyny thresholds, and sexual selection in wild horses on Sable Island National Park, Canada (Manning et al. 2015, Manning and McLoughlin 2017, Manning and McLoughlin 2019).
  • Our past wild horse research has focused on environmental, habitat, climate, and demographic drivers of sexual selection and population ecology, as well as interactions between horses and wildlife (e.g., sage-grouse).
  • Currently, Jeff is collaborating with Professor Tamás Székely, Dr. Zsolt Végvári, and Ph.D. candidate Karola Szemán at the University of Debrecen, Hungary in a long-term demographic study of the rare and endangered Przewalski horse in Hortobágy National Park, Hungary. Once extinct in the wild, this species is the world’s only undomesticated and oldest horse lineage. It is now being reintroduced to rewild portions of the Central Asia and European steppe regions. This collaboration provides a fascinating opportunity to test competing hypotheses about intrinsic and extrinsic factors that shape the social organization, reproductive success, and sexual selection of Przewalski horses as they move through a post-reintroduction, exponential population growth phase.

Updates: coming soon!