The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks

Overview

The horse herd on Shackleford Banks has long been a subject of fascination. Today, it is both one of the wildest and most controlled animal populations on earth. An array of scientists sees to it that the horses are born, battle for social rank, forage for food, suffer the elements, and die without human interference. At the same time, to protect the island from overgrazing, these scientists practice the 21st-century paradox of "wilderness management"—a careful plan of genetic testing and immunocontraception to ...
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Overview

The horse herd on Shackleford Banks has long been a subject of fascination. Today, it is both one of the wildest and most controlled animal populations on earth. An array of scientists sees to it that the horses are born, battle for social rank, forage for food, suffer the elements, and die without human interference. At the same time, to protect the island from overgrazing, these scientists practice the 21st-century paradox of "wilderness management"—a careful plan of genetic testing and immunocontraception to maintain a target population of 120 to 130 healthy horses.

Mystery and controversy have always surrounded the Shackleford horses. Some experts offer evidence that they are the descendants of horses cast off foundering Spanish galleons. Others cite proof that they are of much more recent origin. Many people see them as symbols of bedrock American values like freedom and self-sufficiency. But over the years, some have argued that they pose a threat to the island's ecology and should be banned as feral goats, sheep, and cattle were long ago. There is even disagreement over what they are. Scientists say they're horses, but many people will forever insist they're ponies.

The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks is a comprehensive overview of the famous herd—its possible origins and development, its hardiness in the face of hurricanes, its complex relationship with humans, its hard-won protection within Cape Lookout National Seashore. The book's plentiful illustrations—both archival and contemporary— show why the Shackleford horses are so beloved among visitors to the Outer Banks.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895873347
  • Publisher: Blair, John F. Publisher
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 560,227
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmine Prioli is a professor and director of graduate programs in the English Department at North Carolina State University, where he has won awards for outstanding teaching and extension service. He has taught American literature and folklore since 1977. Scott Taylor is a 1978 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has held positions as a photographer at the Chapel Hill News and the Duke University Marine Laboratory. He currently operates Scott Taylor Photography out of his gallery and studio in Beaufort, North Carolina.
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