Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S. in Geographic Information Science

Organizational Unit

College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Geography and the Environment

First Advisor

Steven R. Hick


Feral horses (Equus caballus), Protection, Nevada National Security Site, Geographic Information System (GIS), Federal management


Feral horses (Equus caballus) are free-roaming descendants of domesticated horses and legally protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which mandates how feral horses and burros should be managed and protected on federal lands. Using a geographic information system to determine the home range and preferred habitat of feral horses on the federally managed Nevada National Security Site can enable wildlife biologists in making best management practice recommendations. Site suitability was calculated for elevation, forage, slope, water presence and horse observations and were combined in successive iterations into one polygon. Suitability rankings established that 85 square kilometers are ideal habitat for feral horses on the NNSS, with 860 square kilometers of good habitat and 2,082 square kilometers of fair habitat and 484 square kilometers of poor habitat.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Ashley V. Burns


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


27 pgs

File Size

597 KB