NPS Releases Shackleford Stats

The Park Service said in a news release dated 07/11/19 that, at the end of 2018, there were 116 wild horses on Shackleford Banks, with 62% females and 38% males.

Other statistics include:

  • Horses over 20 years of age: 3 males and 17 females
  • Deaths in 2018: 11
  • Average lifespan for all horses: 11 years

The oldest mare, aged 34 years, died in 2018 according to the report.

The range of variation attributable to natural causes, for the proportion of males (or females) in a herd this size, is 36% to 64%.  (Refer to the statistical formulas on this page, where n = 116 and p = .50.)

Thus, unlike the Assateague herd, the reported proportions fall within the limits and searching for an assignable cause—to explain the observed difference between males and females—would be a waste of time.

The news release did not indicate if any of the deaths were associated with the arrival of Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

RELATED: Update on Shackleford Horses.

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