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Contact: B.G. Horvat, 252-838-8906Harkers Island, NC – The annual findings report on the Shackleford Banks horses has been released by Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses. This report, covering the calendar year 2018, is available on the park’s website at: https://go.nps.gov/horsereport
Highlights from the report include:
- At the end of 2018 there were 116 horses on Shackleford Banks.
- The herd is 62% female and 38% male. Of the horses over 20 years of age, there are only 3 males, but there are 17 females.
- The oldest living mare has died at age 34.
- Herd mortality was 9% with 11 deaths. Mortality still averages 6%.
- Since 1999, the average lifespan of horses on Shackleford Banks has been approximately 11 years.
Cape Lookout National Seashore and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc., emphasize that the most important factor in protecting the wild horses on Shackleford is public education. As a result, they have increased efforts to inform the public how best to watch the horses without interacting with them or interrupting their natural behavior, and those messages are regularly communicated in the media and through programs like the Park’s “Horse Sense and Survival” tours.
The park now also offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about the wild horses by taking part in the Junior Ranger Wild Horse Protector activity. Designed for kids in grades 6th through 8th, a parent, guardian, or youth leader may check out a backpack with instruments needed to complete activities like those done by the wild horse Biologist. Upon completion, students receive an award and are certified as Wild Horse Protectors.
Last updated: July 12, 2019