Feral horses need to be controlled because they are not part of our natural ecosystems, their population
can grow very quickly, and they can put serious pressure on our native plants and animals.
Feral horses like to gather in grassland areas, especially native grasslands like rough fescue. Grasslands
are a very popular food source in Alberta – both for wildlife, like elk, and for livestock, like cattle.
These areas are sensitive to over-grazing. Alberta’s feral horse population eats the same grasses as
other species do, and they tend to graze heavily in the spring. To prevent overgrazing, we need to keep
their population manageable.
Additionally, research we’ve done shows that feral horses have very few natural predators – they’re
sometimes killed by wolves and cougars, but not often. With no natural check on their population, wild
horse populations can quickly grow too big for the landscape to support.