School: Melrose Middle
Area of Science: Environmental
Interim: Problem Statement:
Our team has always loved horses, and when we looked for a way to turn this interest into a project we found some issues with wild mustangs that could be modeled. Some of these issues include mal-nutrition, poor care after adoption, genetic defects, and a spread of diseases. Also, horse populations have also become too large, meaning there is not enough food for all of the wild horses.
We also found that wild mustangs breed with wild mares out in the reserves without any people helping to choose which animals should be bred. This causes genetic defects, and allows diseases to spread easily between horses. These wild horses are deemed very vulnerable at times. Lots of people think of animals as only things, and mistreat them. Some people even go away for vacation, and don’t come back to feed their horse. but these animals have thoughts and emotions just as we do and need protection.
Computer Model Plan-
Our computer model plan is to use Netlogo to make a computer simulation of a herd of wild mustangs. This model will show the horse’s territory. In their territory, we will have a watering hole, brush as well as grassland and thickets. We will control rainfall and grass growth with sliders which will change the rate of production of our horse population by changing the amount of grass grown. We hope to have multiple types and variations of horses! In our model, the horses will have different characteristics, and will all have different places in their herd.
Progress to Date-
What we have done so far on our Netlogo model. Is to design one variety of horse, a ginger haired horse with black hooves, and green eyes. In the future, we plan to have many different variations. This will show how management can affect a livestock population. Our team has created the territory for the horses, but it is not quite as advanced as we wish it to be. A waterhole is also included. We have taken the flocking program from the Netlogo library and pasted it into ours, so our horses will herd together. Also, as some horses stray away from the group, we have programed ours to do the same.
We expect to accomplish our goal in finding solutions for the issues that the wild horses face, both in the wild and in captivity. We also plan to complete our whole model and to hopefully make a successful PowerPoint presentation about our project along with our project board. This project should have the ability to educate others about the wild horses of America.
1. Horse Care Illustrated Guide to Holistic Care for Horses: An owner’s Manual written by Denise Bean-Raymond Published by Quary Books on February 1, 2009
2. Must Adopt Habitat for Horses https://www.habitat forhorses.org/hfm-adoptions/
3. Wild Horse Live Science Mustangs: Facts About Wild Horses https://www.livescience.com/27686-mustangs.htm/
4. Dr. Wyatt Young- A vet tech raised in Oklahoma
5. Wild Horse Site www.wildhorsesite.com
Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty
Mail the entire Team