Craig Downer, Ecologist

Craig C. Downer is a wildlife ecologist (UCalifBerk, UNevReno, UKanLawr, UDurhamUK) who has extensively studied both the wild horses of the West and the endangered mountain tapirs of the northern Andes.

He has given speeches and written many articles, including encyclopedic, and several books.  His works are both popular and scientific, in English, Spanish and translated to German. Several of these concern wild horses, their ecological contribution, their North American evolutionary roots, their great natural and social value and their survival plight.  He is a member of the World Conservation Union, Species Survival Commission and has written the Action Plan for the mountain tapir (1997).  Fluent in Spanish and competent in French, he is also a member of the American Society of Mammalogists.

One of his books, entitled Wild Horses: Living Symbols of Freedom (1977), examines these magnificent animals from a variety of perspectives, stressing their need to live both freely and naturally in appropriate habitats of sufficient size for long-term viability.  He frequently emphasizes how much we owe the horse and by this he means the sharing of freedom on the land here in this world we share as home.

Downer has also written a book of poetry Streams of the Soul (2005) containing several illustrated poems concerning wild horses, plays the piano and composes music.

His speech Forever Wild and Free (Wild Horse Forum (ISPMB), Las Vegas, Columbus Day, 2008) received a standing ovation and has been posted on several websites.

He has also been a plaintiff in several legal suits to restore wild horses and burros at viable population levels in their legal herd areas throughout the West and has given testimony.

He is a 4th generation Nevadan and grew up with his best friend Poco, a tall chestnut stallion, with whom he had many adventures in the deserts and mountains of western Nevada and eastern California.

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