A study set to begin early next year could resolve debate over the effect of Corolla's wild horses on North Carolina's maritime forests, marshland and wet meadows.
The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to work with North Carolina State University on the study.
Currituck National Wildlife Refuge manager Mike Hoff says the approximately 100 wild horses graze on grasses also used by waterfowl for food and shelter. Hoff says migratory bird habitat is the primary mission for the more than 4,500-acre refuge.
He says during the two-year study, horses, feral hogs or deer will be blocked from some areas to see the effect of each species on habitat.
The horses are a popular tourist attraction along the Outer Banks.
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