THE Eriskay Pony Society is working with genetics experts at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) to carry out the biggest survey of Eriskay Pony DNA.
The project aims to help protect and promote the critically-endangered native breed.
The society is funding the project, with help from the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
Catriona Rowan, chair of the Eriskay Pony Society, said: “This is a very welcome step forward in our efforts to protect and promote this verstatile breed.
“With such a small gene pool, we cannot just rely on the look of ponies and studbook information to make our breeding matches.
“This study – which is open to any Eriskay Pony registered with a recognised Eriskay breed society, either The Eriskay Pony Society or Comann Each Nan Eilean – will give us a great foundation to work with.
“It will be a baseline of information for use in our work with the RBST’s Equine Conservation Project, which requires us to provide complex information about our genetic profiles.”
Rowan added: “It’s easy for Eriskay owners to get involved – simply apply to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a testing kit and we will send it free of charge.
“It’s a simple process using a hair sample, which must be returned to us by the end of July.”
Catch up on more articles on Scottish Field’s news pages.
Plus, read more conservation stories in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.