South Steens Roundup: Looks Like Assateague Only Worse

Gather stats, through September 24:

  • Studs: 14
  • Mares: 35
  • Foals: 13
  • Deaths: 0
  • Shipped: 62

Foals accounted for 21% of the horses gathered.  No horses are being held on site.

Note that mares outnumber studs 2.5 to 1.  Do those numbers look like they came from a herd that’s 50% males and 50% females?  Limits computed from basic statistical formulas, with n = 49 and p-bar = .5, are 14 and 35.

The observed values are not outside the limits so it’s possible but not likely.  Additional data may bring the results in line with expectations.

In the latest census at Assateague Island, from March 2020, mares outnumbered studs 2.4 to 1.  The area was cited during public comments at this week’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting as a model of wild horse management, which it is if you ignore the declining herd size and abnormal sex ratio, with effects continuing years after the fertility control program was shut off.

The census had been conducted five or six times a year but the reports have dried up.

RELATED: South Steens Roundup Day 3.

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