Baguales WE

This entry has been submitted by Dr. Victor Moraga and Enrique Zunzunegui of Horse Path Ltd.


Species: Equus caballus

Subspecies/Breed/Type: Bagual / Creole of Patagonia

Country: Chile

Region/Province/Range: Torres del Paine National Park

Population type: Feral

Estimated Population size: between 130-150 horses (2015 estimate)

Management Authority:  Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF)

Details of Population:

The herd moves through difficult terrain as one tight group with little separation between family bands, making it difficult to have a complete population count. It is not easy to recognize and identify the horses as the horses sport very similar coat colours and markings. More observations are recommended.

Preliminary evidence suggests that the herd suffers predation from puma (Puma concolor), which apparently keeps the population growth rate in check.

Structure and demographics:

From the observations made it seems that the stallion to mare ratio could be about 1,5-1,6:1. In November 2010  Horse Path Ltd. counted a total of 27 new-born foals. In February 2011, only 4 foals remained indicating a high foal mortality rate. The factors causing this high foal mortality rate are still under investigation, but it seems likely that predation by puma (Puma concolor) is the most likely cause. Stallion harrasment of mares that have recently foaled is another candidate or factor likely to cause foal deaths.

Issues worth noting and needed actions

This herd is still considered as an invasive species that need to be removed from the National Park. However, Horse Path Ltd. have been given a 1 year concession to study the horses and therefore a 10 year moratorium for possible extermination has been achieved.

Further reading

Visit the website of Horse Path Ltd. for more information. (In spanish)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s