Photo by Karen Ferguson


Reserve Design

Reserve design is a flexible process involving the planning and creation of a nature reserve in a way that effectively accomplishes the goals in question.There are very many factors that have to be taken into account when designing this. It requires an individual plan taking all the factors and goals into account.The "reserve" can be used either to keep animals in, or to keep animals out of certain areas. Reserve Design: "An intelligent, wise, and caring way to establish genetically viable, ecologically well-adapted, and naturally self-stabilizing populations of wild horses and burros. These would be left to live in peace, be born, grow to maturity, and pass on in the wild, thus contributing their remains to the natural community that sustains them. Reserve Design is an important branch of Conservation Biology" (Peck 1998; Downer 2010).

Wild Horse Reserve design solution - Downer

Equine Contraception for wild horses

pZP (Porcine zona pellucida)
pZP means porcine zona pellucida. Zona pellucida is a glycoprotein which is found wrapped around mammalian eggs. One of these glycoproteins, ZP3, is a critical receptor protein for sperm and therefore key to the fertilzation of the egg. The pZP vaccine is derived from porcine (or pig ovaries) and therefore, when referring to the antigen used in the vaccine, it is called pZP. The immunocontraceptive vaccine uses the pZP antigen to create an immune response. The immune system of the inoculated animal will produce antibodies to ZP. These antibodies competitively bind to the ZP surface matrix thus blocking sperm from being able to bind and therefore preventing fertilization.

References -


Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone Vaccine (GonaCon-Equine)
This immunocontraceptive vaccine uses gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). The hypothalamus releases GnRH which stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary. The gonads produce testosterone and progesterone in response to LH stimulation, which stimulate the production of sperm and oocytes. When an animal is injected with the GnRH vaccine, anti-GnRH antibodies bind to endogenous GnRH, preventing it from binding in the anterior pituitary and releasing LH. As a result, production of testosterone and progesterone is decreased, and reproduction is reduced.

References -

Reimmunization increases contraceptive effectiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine (GonaCon-Equine) in free-ranging horses (Equus Caballus):Limitations and side effects - Baker et al

Evaluation of a single-shot gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) immunocontraceptive vaccine in captive badgers - Cowan et al

GnRH Vaccine - Mc Cue

Long-Term Efficacy of Three Contraceptive Approaches for Population Control of Wild Horses

Vaccination against oocyte-specific growth factors (OGF Factor)

Oocyte growth factors are proteins that influence the development of oocytes (egg cells) in the ovary. The one-treatment vaccine formulation being researched would induce an immune response to the oocyte growth factor proteins (called GDF9 and BMP15). The idea therefore is to cause permanent sterilisation of the mares

Effects of immunization against bone morphongenetic protein-15 and growth differentiation factor -9 on ovarian function in mares - Davis et al

Oocyte growth factor vaccine study - United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management

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