Free Roaming Horse Project: An Inventory of Herds in Eastern Kentucky

Authors: Steven Richardson Jr*, Eastern Kentucky University, Melanie Helvie, Eastern Kentucky University, Andrew Akin, Eastern Kentucky University, Stephanie McSpirit, Eastern Kentucky University
Topics: Field Methods, Human-Environment Geography, Animal Geographies
Keywords: equine, conservation, environment, Appalachia, regional geography, GIS, UAVs
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In 2017, a team of twelve university students and stakeholders from the Appalachian Horse Project (AHP) worked to start an inventory of free roaming horses in six counties within the eastern Kentucky Appalachain region. This study was to ascertain the population of free roaming herds in the region while also trying to visually report the health and demeanor of the animals. By observing the number of animals and their general health, the team will work with AHP to continue to monitor the horse populations while also developing best practices for observation field methods along with suggested ways to stabilize equine populations for conservation practices.

Future research will include monitoring the equine population by sUAVs to determine a more location for the herds. Use of sUAVs will also allow the team to observe more areas of land and to potentially locate more herds for observation and conservation.

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