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Wild Horse Sterilization

Nicolette Casselli

3/22/2011
Introduction:

In 1985, an experiment was done on wild horses in an attempt to control their

population in Flanigan, Nevada and Beaty Butte, Oregon. In the experiment, they took the

adult male horses, figured out the dominant male in the herd, and sterilized it by giving it a

vasectomy. There were groups that had sterilized males, and groups that did not. In the

following two years, they recorded the number of foals born in those herds to determine if the

sterilizations worked.

To help verify whether this sterilization treatment worked, I ran a series of tests on the

data set. I first had to establish whether or not the populations were normal, or close to

normal. I then took my results of normality and continued with testing. The F-test that was

used helped determine which T-test to look at and if the variance within the populations were

enough to test. The T-tests helped in finding whether the means of these populations were the

same, and further showed which populations was larger or smaller for the appropriate

situation. The tests could help conclude the effectiveness of the sterilization treatments on

these horse populations. Below are the results and methods used and further analysis can be

seen within the appendix.

Methodology:

In order to determine whether or not this experiment worked, there were several other

questions that needed to be answered. By using SAS analyst, these questions were answered.

First, I took the variables of location and adults to see if the location of the adult populations

had any effect on the populations within the horses. Many outside elements could affect
population, not just the fact that these horses had been sterilized. This is why the question of

location could be important. After determining population normality with the graphs and the

Proc Univariate, I conducted an F-test and a T-test on the information. Another question that

could be raised using the adult variable could be if the treatments had any effect on the horse

populations. Therefore, I ran tests for the adult vs. treatment variables. The treatments were

labeled “0” for no treatment and “1” for those that got treated. A test for normality was done

and displayed by the graphs and Proc Univariate. Afterwards, a two sampled F-test was

conducted as well as several two sample T-tests to figure out whether the treatments had any

effect on the populations.

Then, one must look at the foal populations to determine whether or not the

sterilizations worked. The two variables I tested against the foal population numbers included

location and treatment. For foals vs. location, graphs and Proc Univariate analyzed the

normality of the population. Then two sampled F-test and T-tests were done to answer the

question of location’s affect on the foal populations. After that, treatment vs. foal variables

were considered. Again, to test for normality the graphs and Proc Univariate tests were

applied. Normality is important in these experiments because it has effects on the tests that

can later be run on this data set of wild horses. Then, two sampled F-tests and T-tests were

done to figure out the effect of treatments on the foal populations within the two years of the

experiment.

Results/Discussion:
First, I looked at the adult populations and compared them with the locations they were

in and whether or not they were treated in those populations. In the case of adults vs.

locations, It was shown through the F-test that the variances for these variables were equal. I

further tested this using the T-test, to make sure that this conclusion was accurate. The results

were the same for this test as well. I concluded from this that the location of these horses had

little to do with the populations within the adult horses. Next, I took the adults vs. treatment

variables. I ran an F-test on this information and found that the variances for were not the

same. To further test this I ran the T-test and found the same results. Then, I tested which

population was larger than the other. To do this I first took the population with treatment 0

and asked if it was larger than treatment 1. The results were that the treatment 0 populations

were larger than the treatment 1 populations. I made sure this was true by asking the opposite

question and found the same answer. This shows that the population of adult horses had

larger numbers to begin with for those that were not treated. Determining this helps figure out

whether or not the sterilization of these horses worked because if there are not equal, or close

to equal, numbers of horses in these populations being tested, there could be problems with

the results of this experiment. You can view the actual results of these tests in the sections

packet 1 for adults vs. location and packet 2 for adults vs. treatment variables.

To test whether sterilization worked in the following years, I tested the foal populations

against the location and the treatments of these populations. First, I took the foals and tested

them against the locations. The F-test concluded that these variances were the same within

the populations of foals for each location. To make sure this was accurate; I ran a T-test and

found the same result. After this test determined that the location had little to do with the
populations of foals, I ran the tests for the treatments. First, I ran the F-test to see if the

populations were equal for both treatments. I found that they probably were, so I ran the T-

test accordingly. In the T-test I found that the populations of foals were not the same for each

treatment. To determine which population was larger than the other, I ran another T-test that

concluded that the populations for treatment 0 were larger than populations for treatment 1.

This means that those populations of wild horses that were not treated had a higher number of

foals being born in the two years that the experiments were being run. The actual numbers for

these results can be viewed in the appendix labeled packet 3 for foals vs. location and packet 4

for foals vs. treatment.

The foal population results comply with the adult population results. This shows that

the data is consistent in saying that the populations for treatment 0 had larger numbers in the

beginning and the end of the experiment. When looking back at the data sets of wild horse

populations, there is definitely more horses in the non-treated populations vs. the treated

populations. This can lead to the conclusion that the results are not as accurate as they could

be because there is a need for more samples in the treated populations. The results of these

tests suggest that the sterilization treatment did not have much effect on the horse populations

for these areas.

Conclusions:

According to the tests done for both foal an adult populations, the treatment of

sterilization in this experiment did not work. However, when looking at the normality of these
data sets, we can see that they do not completely follow the normal population curve

completely. This could be due to the fact that there were much greater numbers of horses that

were untreated rather than treated. This leads to the conclusion that there are more samples

of treated horses needed for this experiment to make a more accurate decision on whether or

not treatments help control the populations of wild horses in Nevada and Oregon. With more

samples, there could be a more accurate conclusion to this experiment. This may take longer

to physically do, but if accurate results are desired, time must be the sacrifice. However,

getting a larger population to sterilize would be more difficult, because the process of giving

these wild horses a vasectomy is most likely dangerous and challenging.


Appendix

Packet 1: Adults vs. Locations

- Proc Univariate

- Box-Whisker Plot

- Histogram

- Scatter Plot

- F-test

- T-test

Packet 2: Adults vs. Treatments

- Proc Univariate

- Box-Whisker Plot

- Histogram

- Scatter Plot

- F-test

- T-test 1, 2, 3

Packet 3: Foals vs. Locations

- Proc Univariate

- Box-Whisker Plot

- Histogram

- Scatter Plot

- F-test

- T-test
Packet 4: Foals vs. Treatments

- Proc Univariate

- Box-Whisker Plot

- Histogram

- Scatter Plot

- F-test

- T-tests 1 and 2
Nicolette Casselli
The UNIVARIATE Procedure
Variable: Adults

Moments

N 38 Sum Weights 38
Mean 110.236842 Sum Observations 4189
Std Deviation 71.1809397 Variance 5066.72617
Skewness 0.41347328 Kurtosis -1.2768588
Uncorrected SS 649251 Corrected SS 187468.868
Coeff Variation 64.5709169 Std Error Mean 11.5470732

Basic Statistical Measures

Location Variability

Mean 110.2368 Std Deviation 71.18094


Median 92.0000 Variance 5067
Mode 36.0000 Range 218.00000
Interquartile Range 128.00000

Tests for Location: Mu0=0

Test -Statistic- -----p Value------

Student's t t 9.546735 Pr > |t| <.0001


Sign M 19 Pr >= |M| <.0001
Signed Rank S 370.5 Pr >= |S| <.0001

Quantiles (Definition 5)

Quantile Estimate

100% Max 243


99% 243
95% 240
90% 226
75% Q3 172
50% Median 92
25% Q1 44
10% 35
5% 30
1% 25
0% Min 25

Nicolette Casselli
The UNIVARIATE Procedure
Variable: Adults

Extreme Observations

----Lowest---- ----Highest---
Value Obs Value Obs

25 22 197 8
30 33 226 7
31 27 232 1
35 26 240 15
36 34 243 14

Nicolette Casselli
The UNIVARIATE Procedure
Variable: Treatment

Moments

N 38 Sum Weights 38
Mean 0.5 Sum Observations 19
Std Deviation 0.50671171 Variance 0.25675676
Skewness 0 Kurtosis -2.1142857
Uncorrected SS 19 Corrected SS 9.5
Coeff Variation 101.342342 Std Error Mean 0.08219949

Basic Statistical Measures

Location Variability

Mean 0.500000 Std Deviation 0.50671


Median 0.500000 Variance 0.25676
Mode 0.000000 Range 1.00000
Interquartile Range 1.00000

NOTE: The mode displayed is the smallest of 2 modes with a count of 19.

Tests for Location: Mu0=0

Test -Statistic- -----p Value------

Student's t t 6.082763 Pr > |t| <.0001


Sign M 9.5 Pr >= |M| <.0001
Signed Rank S 95 Pr >= |S| <.0001

Quantiles (Definition 5)

Quantile Estimate

100% Max 1.0


99% 1.0
95% 1.0
90% 1.0
75% Q3 1.0
50% Median 0.5
25% Q1 0.0
10% 0.0
5% 0.0
1% 0.0
0% Min 0.0

Nicolette Casselli
The UNIVARIATE Procedure
Variable: Treatment

Extreme Observations

----Lowest---- ----Highest---

Value Obs Value Obs

0 19 1 34
0 18 1 35
0 17 1 36
0 16 1 37
0 15 1 38
Nicolette Casselli
Two Sample t-test for the Means of Adults within Treatment

- Sample Statistics

Group N Mean Std. Dev. Std. Error


------------------------------------------------------
0 19 174.1579 40.011 9.1793
1 19 46.31579 13.72 3.1475

- Hypothesis Test

0 Null hypothesis: Mean 1 - Mean 2 = 0


Alternative: Mean 1 - Mean 2 ^= 0

If Variances Are t statistic Df Pr > t


----------------------------------------------------
Equal 13.174 36 <.0001
Not Equal 13.174 22.17 <.0001
Nicolette Casselli
Two Sample Test for Variances of Foals within Treatment

- Sample Statistics

Treatment
Group N Mean Std. Dev. Variance
----------------------------------------------------
0 19 25.78947 6.5708 43.17544
1 19 5 4.9441 24.44444

- Hypothesis Test

Null hypothesis: Variance 1 / Variance 2 = 1


Alternative: Variance 1 / Variance 2 ^= 1

- Degrees of Freedom -
F Numer. Denom. Pr > F
----------------------------------------------
1.77 18 18 0.2371