Sable Island horses should be removed, says biologist

Okay - I buy into the idea that islands are the most fragile ecosystems. But the horses have been there for 200 years - is there any "original" ecosystem left to protect?

The herd, first introduced to the island in the 1760s and left to fend for itself since 1960, now numbers more than 500 animals but the population could drop precipitously after just one harsh winter, with food hard to access under heavy snow or ice, according to the study. The ponies also may suffer from low genetic diversity, making them less resilient to disease and prone to reproductive failure.

But Jones argues the horses “hurt” the island and “cause destruction.”

”Remote island ecosystems are the most endangered ecosystems,” he said. “Sable Island is such a place and the horses are modifying the island. They need to be removed.”