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More than 70,000 wild horses roam Navajo Nation. Don Graham / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Drought is being blamed for the deaths of 111 wild horses on Navajo Nation land in northern Arizona, according to tribal officials.

The horses were found dead in a muddy stock pond near Grey Mountain over the past week. The Associated Press reported that animals usually drink from the stock pond but dry conditions left it with little water.

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The pony's diet of hardy vegetation such as gorse, shrubs and coarse grasses that out-compete more fragile plants make them great moor and grassland conservation aids. Fred F / Flickr

By Brooke Maree Williams

Bordered by Devon and Somerset counties and dropping away steeply to the Bristol Channel, the hilly, open moorland of Exmoor in southwest England is a place of freezing wet winters with driving winds. Vegetation here is tough and of little nutritional value. Only the hardiest of creatures endure in this harsh environment. The Exmoor pony is one of them, though it's currently listed as "endangered" by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Desatoya Wild Horse Gather in Nevada. Wikimedia Commons

The Trump administration's $1 billion budget request for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeks $66.7 million for the Wild Horse and Burro Management program and a continued push to eliminate annual appropriations bill riders that prohibit the sale or killing of the federally protected animals.

Congress has yet to act on the administration's 2018 budget request, which also requested lifting the appropriations riders.

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Animal rights group Friends of Animals has filed a lawsuit over a planned wild horse roundup in Nevada.

The suit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Reno, the Associated Press reported. It claims that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws by approving the removal of nearly 10,000 mustangs over 10 years in a 4,900-square-mile expanse of federal rangeland near the Nevada-Utah border.

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A Bureau of Land Management contractor's helicopter forces a wild horse into a trap during the recent roundup at the Salt Wells Creek. Steve Paige

On Thursday, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recklessly voted to approve recommendations that call on the Bureau of Land Management to shoot tens of thousands of healthy wild horses and burros.

At its meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado, the advisory board recommended that BLM achieve its on-range population goal of 26,715 wild horses and burros while also phasing out the use of long-term holding facilities—both within three years.

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