Over years of observation and experimentation on Western ranges and an Atlantic barrier island, scientists have found and implemented a successful method to stabilize wild horse populations.
This latest title in the consistently interesting Scientists in the Field series focuses on research leading to the use of porcine zona pellucida vaccine on wild horses for reliable, reversible birth control. Frydenborg introduces her readers to several scientists involved in this work, principally Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, who first studied horse herds in Montana and pioneered the use of PZP at Assateague National Seashore; Allison Turner, who observes Assateague horses on a daily basis and helps deliver the vaccine (with a rifle adapted to shoot darts); and Dr. Ronald Keiper, who developed the wild horse observation methods and record-keeping system still in use there today. Along the way are chapters on horse ancestry and the history of wild horses in this country, as well as information about color and size and other research and researchers. Underlying these particular stories are important concepts, lucidly conveyed: Scientists work together to solve problems, solutions can be a long time coming and sometimes approaches fail. The attractive design makes the most of the Maryland and Montana scenery and includes plentiful photographs of horses in the wild and scientists at work.
A science title with wide potential appeal. (glossary, where to see, how to help, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)