Global invasive species database

  • General
  • Distribution
  • Impact
  • Management
  • Bibliography
  • Contact
Common name
feral horse (English), horse (English)
Synonym
Similar species
Summary
Equus caballus is a large non-ruminant herbivorous mammal that is not dissimlar in appearance to the domestic horse. E. caballus has an average lifespan of 25 - 30 years, with 20 years of sexual activity. While preferred habitat is open grasslands, E. caballus has been also known to invade desert, semi-desert plains, coastal areas, subalpine regions, tropical savannah grasslands, forests, scrublands and wetlands. In some regions they are protected as they are seen as a valuable asset, but in other places they are considered a pest, as they compete with livestock for resources, degrade plant habitats by grazing and trampling, contaminate water sources, damage fences and decrease native biodiversity.
Species Description
The feral horse, Equus caballus, is morphologically similar to the domestic horse, standing an average of 1 - 1.6 m high at the shoulder and weighing 350 - 450 kg. General appearance is variable, including coat colour that ranges from black, brown, tan and white to white with patches of orange or brown. Coat hairs are short and fine, tail is relatively short and there is hair present on the forehead (forelock) and along the neck (mane). The average lifespan of E. caballus is 25 - 30 years. (Csurhes et al. 2009).
Notes
In the Australian Alps, foxes, hares (Lepus europaeus), house mice (Mus musculus), feral horses (Equus caballus) and weeds have all increased their presence at higher altitudes most likely due to changes in climate (Green and Pickering 2002).
Habitat Description
While preferred habitat is open grasslands, Equus caballus has been also known to invade desert, semi-desert plains, coastal areas, subalpine regions, tropical savannah grasslands, forests, scrublands and wetlands.

Principal source: Csurhes, Steve; Gina Paroz and Anna Markula, 2009. Pest animal risk assessment Feral horse Equus caballus Biosecurity Queensland Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation

Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment

Review:

Publication date: 2010-06-08

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2017) Species profile: Equus caballus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1632 on 18-11-2017.

General Impacts
Equus caballus is a grazer, feeding on approximately 2–2.5% of its bodyweight in plant matter per day. This grazing, along with trampling, contributes to decreases in native plant biodiversity, and can also fracture saturated turf. This can lead to increased opportunity for weed estabishment, soil erosion and water ponding. Soil compaction can be another issue. Changes in community composition related to feral horse populations have been observed for fish, birds, small mammels, reptiles, crabs and ants. Feral horses compete with livestock for resources, can damage fences and water bodies and can foul water sources through fecal contamination. They can also harbour exotic diseases, such as equine influenza, and may introduce and spread weeds via seed present in fecal matter, manes and tails. (Csurhes et al. 2009; Department of the Environment and Heritage 2004; Nimmo & Miller 2007).
Management Info
Control methods include fertility control, capturing excess animals and offering adoption, shooting - both ground shooting and aerial via helicopters, trapping, and mustering. (Csurhes et al. 2009; Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia 2004; Nimmo & Miller 2007).
Please follow this link to for details on the management of feral horses in Australia
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Equus caballus
Informations on Equus caballus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Equus caballus in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Equus caballus is a grazer, feeding on approximately 2–2.5% of its bodyweight in plant matter per day. This grazing, along with trampling, contributes to decreases in native plant biodiversity, and can also fracture saturated turf. This can lead to increased opportunity for weed estabishment, soil erosion and water ponding. Soil compaction can be another issue. Changes in community composition related to feral horse populations have been observed for fish, birds, small mammels, reptiles, crabs and ants. Feral horses compete with livestock for resources, can damage fences and water bodies and can foul water sources through fecal contamination. They can also harbour exotic diseases, such as equine influenza, and may introduce and spread weeds via seed present in fecal matter, manes and tails. (Csurhes et al. 2009; Department of the Environment and Heritage 2004; Nimmo & Miller 2007).
Locations
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
Mechanism
[1] Competition
Outcomes
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
Management information
Control methods include fertility control, capturing excess animals and offering adoption, shooting - both ground shooting and aerial via helicopters, trapping, and mustering. (Csurhes et al. 2009; Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australia 2004; Nimmo & Miller 2007).
Please follow this link to for details on the management of feral horses in Australia
Locations
ARGENTINA
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
Management Category
None
Unknown
Bibliography
10 references found for Equus caballus

Managment information
IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)., 2010. A Compilation of Information Sources for Conservation Managers.
Summary: This compilation of information sources can be sorted on keywords for example: Baits & Lures, Non Target Species, Eradication, Monitoring, Risk Assessment, Weeds, Herbicides etc. This compilation is at present in Excel format, this will be web-enabled as a searchable database shortly. This version of the database has been developed by the IUCN SSC ISSG as part of an Overseas Territories Environmental Programme funded project XOT603 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment. The compilation is a work under progress, the ISSG will manage, maintain and enhance the database with current and newly published information, reports, journal articles etc.
General information
Csurhes, Steve; Gina Paroz and Anna Markula, 2009. Pest animal risk assessment Feral horse Equus caballus. Biosecurity Queensland Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
Department of the Environment and Hertiage, Australia, 2004. Feral horse (Equus caballus) and feral donkey (Equus asinus)
Summary: Available from: http://environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/publications/pubs/feral-horse.pdf [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Gerber, G. 1996. Cyclura carinata ssp. carinata. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/6037/0 [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), 2010. Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758
Summary: Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=180691 [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Nimmo, D.G. & Miller, K.K. 2007. Ecological and human dimensions of management of feral horses in Australia: a review. Wildl. Res. 34, 408�417.
Scorolli, Alberto L.; Lopez Cazorla, Andrea C., 2010. Demography of feral horses (Equus caballus): a long-term study in Tornquist Park, Argentina. Wildlife Research. 37(3). 2010. 207-214.
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 26 July 2010]
Contact
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Equus caballus
Scorolli,
Dr. Alberto
Organization:
GEKKO (Study Group on Conservation and Management)
Address:
Dept. Biology Universidad Nacional del Sur San Juan 670 (8000) ICN Bah�a Blanca Argentina
Phone:
Fax: