Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Project

An estimate of abundance and an assessment of the efficacy of sterilization techniques for the control of wild burro populations

February 2015 - March 2018


Participating Agencies

  • Department of Defense, Fort Irwin
Feral burros on Fort Irwin, California

Feral burro populations have increased in numbers and are impacting fragile desert plant communities, reducing forage availability for domestic livestock and wildlife as well as seeking forage and water near human habitations, which brings them into conflict with humans. Fort Irwin, California has a relatively large population of burros (~1,000) that enter into the cantonment area, resulting in human-wildlife conflicts. We propose to estimate the size of the burro population, examine patterns of space use and employ non-lethal methods of immunocontraception or sterilization to reduce recruitment into the existing population in an attempt to reduce population size.

Research Publications Publication Date
Karish, T., G.W. Roemer. D.K. Delaney, and J.W. Cain III. 2023. Habitat selection and water dependency of feral burros in the Mojave Desert. Journal of Wildlife Management 87:e22429 | Download July 2023
Hennig, J.D., K.A. Schoenecker, J.W. Cain III, G.W. Roemer, and J.L. Laake. 2022. Accounting for residual heterogeneity in double-observer sightability models to decrease bias in feral burro abundance estimates. Journal of Wildlife Management 86:e22239. | Download June 2022
Gedir, J.V., J.W. Cain III, B.C. Lubow, T. Karish, D.K. Delaney, and G.W. Roemer. 2021. Estimating abundance and simulating fertility control in a feral burro population. Journal of Wildlife Management 85:1187-1199. | Download July 2021
Technical Publications Publication Date
Reddell, C.D., T.K. Karish, G.W. Roemer, and J.W. Cain III. 2016. Investigations into the control of coyote and feral burro populations on the National Training Center Fort Irwin, California. Annual Progress Report to U.S. Army Construction and Engineering Research Laboratory and Fort Irwin National Training Center. July 2016
Presentations Presentation Date
Karish, T., G.W. Roemer, D.K. Delaney, and J.W. Cain III. 2022. Habitat selection and water dependency of feral burros in the Mojave Desert. 101st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, Tucson, Arizona, USA June 2022
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Karish, T. 2020. Habitat selection by feral burros in the Mojave Desert. M.S. Thesis, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. 86 pp July 2020