Faculty note: Dalke and Hunt presentation on mustangs vs domestics
Karen Dalke, lecturer in Public and Environmental Affairs recently presented a co-authored article with Megan Olson Hunt, assistant professor of Natural and Applied Sciences, titled “Mustangs and Domestic Horses: Examining What We Think We Know About Differences.” The presentation was made at the International Society for Anthro-zoology in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Using the United States Geographical Survey (USGS) ethogram for Free-Roaming Feral Horses, this study examines behaviors of Bureau of Land Management mustangs and domestic horses. Over 26,000 behavioral images were analyzed and sorted into 15 categories. Continuous focal sampling at one-minute intervals captured behaviors for six equids over a one-month period. Results suggest that over time, mustangs behave similarly to fully domesticated horses, indicating that adoption is a feasible option for America’s thousands of wild mustangs.