Feral horse (Equus caballus L.) populations are found on properties managed by governmental agencies in western states, the Missouri Ozarks, and on several Atlantic coast barrier and estuarine islands. These animals are descendants of free-roaming horses introduced decades to centuries earlier. Public sentiment has influenced development of policies that have allowed the herds to remain. The North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve is a state program with federal support and oversight that manages four properties; two (Rachel Carson in Beaufort, NC, and Currituck Banks near Corolla, NC) include feral horse populations. Current reserve policies include maintenance of these herds; however, impacts on salt marshes and other ecosystems represent a conflict with federal regulations. Among the Atlantic Coast herds, conditions at the Rachel Carson site are least accommodating for the animals. With a combination of pertinent research results plus 20 years of site-specific management experience as a basis, I argue that feral horses of the Rachel Carson site should be removed for programmatic, ecologic, and humane reasons. To maintain estuarine reserve character, the Currituck Banks site should be protected from roaming horse impacts by creation of one or more delimited pastures outside reserve property.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.