Latest Census Shows Major Problems in Assateague Herd

The National Park Service said earlier this week that 21 males were found on the island in May, along with 55 females, for a total of 76 ‘wild’ horses.  A report by WBOC News of Salisbury, MD did not indicate the change from a year ago and if the horses were subject to ‘humane management practices.’

The expected proportion of males (or females) is .50.  The actual proportion of males was .28 and the actual proportion of females was .72.

The range of variation in these values attributable to natural causes can be computed from basic statistical formulas, where p = .50 and n = 76.  The results show something unnatural is happening on the island.

Assateague Census May 2019 Rev-1

Are males being removed from the area by NPS?  Why would they die at a rate that far exceeds that of females?

How much of the variation is attributable to human involvement?  Is it still reasonable to call these horses ‘wild?’

RELATED: Three Assateague Mares Missing in Latest Census.

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