Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Refuge
he Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Refuge was established to carry out a breeding program with the goal of raising the numbers of the critically endangered Newfoundland Pony.
Twenty years ago there were upwards of 12-13 thousand ponies in Newfoundland. Today there are only 88 registered ponies of breeding age remaining in Newfoundland and they have been declared critically endangered by Rare Breeds Canada. In fact there are more breedable age ponies (98 as of 2005) outside of Newfoundland. There are various reasons for the rapid loss of population; such as anti-roaming laws implemented in the 1960's, and the popularity of snow machines and ATVs that took over many of the tasks previously done by the pony.
The remaining ponies of the breed are individually owned by people around Newfoundland, Canada and the US but the Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Refuge is the only place in Newfoundland whose express purpose is to carry out a breeding program by working with the Newfoundland Pony Society. Of the ponies on Change Islands, some are owned by the Refuge, some are owned by others but are boarded at the Refuge for breeding purposes, and some have come to the Refuge after being abandoned elsewhere in Newfoundland.
The Pony Refuge gratefully acknowledges the Town of Change Islands who have leased their pasture land to the Refuge to help out with this effort to save this important symbol of Newfoundland heritage.