Results of recent Assateague Island horse population census announced
BERLIN, Md. – The National Park Service (NPS) has completed and announced the results of its September 2018 population census of Assateague Island’s wild horses.
We’re told the current population of the Maryland herd is at 79 horses, including 21 stallions and 58 mares.
The third foal of the year, a colt, was born in September to N6BMT-F, also known as “Jojo”.
The National Park Service completes a full census of the Maryland herd of horses six times per year, taking place in February, March, May, July, September, and November.
Since the Assateague horses are free to roam across roughly 27 miles of the island, they can be difficult to find at times. As part of the census, horses are identified by their characteristics, mapped, and counted. Individual horses that are not observed over multiple census periods are presumed dead.
Along with the census, NPS has begun a new genetic study that will develop updated, more detailed information that will describe the genetic status and condition of the herd of horses, in support of the fertility control program that started in 1994.