At the conclusion of the roundup, BLM reported that 62 studs had been captured along with 103 mares. Do those numbers look like they came from a herd that’s 50% males, 50% females?
The question can be answered with the most rudimentary of statistical calculations, where n = 165 and p-bar = .5.
The observed values of 62 and 103 fall outside the calculated limits of 63.2 and 101.8.
Therefore, the answer is ‘No.’ An assignable cause should be sought.
One possibility is that mares prefer private property. Another possibility is that the contractor targeted family bands. That might explain the rather large percentage of foals captured (24.3% of the total).
Or perhaps the herd was not composed of 50% males and 50% females. Do studs die off at an early age, leaving the mares and foals behind?
Would a sex ratio of 40% males and 60% females be considered normal? If so, then attempts to skew it in the other direction would be considered malicious, interfering with a natural process, just like PZP darting.
But it makes sense in an age where ‘management at the minimum feasible level’ has been replaced with ‘management primarily for livestock,’ privately owned, of course.
RELATED: South Steens Roundup Ends.