Assateague Herd Declines in Latest Census

WBOC News of Salisbury, MD reported this morning that the March 2020 survey yielded 21 stallions and 51 mares, for a total of 72, compared to 76 in March of 2019.

One new foal was observed but its sex was not provided.  A few more foals may appear in the coming weeks.

The herd (Maryland side of the island) is subject to humane management practices and has been cited as a paragon of wild horse management by some ‘advocates.’

Assateague Census Chart March 2020-1

The chart tells you that the latest results cannot be produced by a simple random process centered at 50% males / 50% females.  Accordingly, one or more assignable causes should be sought.

Why is the sex ratio skewed in favor or females?  Why do males have a high mortality rate?  Is the management program making things better for the horses or worse?

The upper and lower limits of the chart are computed from basic statistical formulas, where p-bar = .50 and n = 72.

RELATED: New Assateague Foal.

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