Assateague wild horse census

The National Park Service has completed its September 2018 population census of the wild horses on Assateague Island.

The total population of the Maryland herd is currently at 79 horses—21 stallions and 58 mares. The third foal of the year, a colt designated as N6BMT-FQ, was born in September to N6BMT-F (“Jojo”).

The National Park Service completes a full census of the horse population in Maryland six times per year, in February, March, May, July, September, and November. Managed as a wildlife population, the Assateague horses are free to roam over approximately 27 miles of the barrier island and can be difficult to find at times.

During each census, horses are identified by their distinguishing characteristics, mapped, and counted. Individual horses that are not observed during multiple census periods are presumed dead.

In addition to the census, the National Park Service has initiated a new genetic study that will develop updated, more detailed information describing the herd’s genetic status and condition in support of the long-term fertility control program that was initiated in 1994.