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.

Laramie County Commissioners Special Meeting This Week

Commissioners will meet on March 25 to fill a vacancy on the Board.  Refer to the agenda for more information.

The Board is currently considering, among other things, a rule change that will allow the construction of a high-density horse feeding operation near Burns, WY, despite the objections of nearby residents and the county Planning Commission.

With the impending closure of three HMAs in the western part of the state, and the downsizing of a fourth, the facility would be very convenient to the BLM.

RELATED: Laramie County Commissioners Favor Rule Change?