Chincoteague Island is a barrier island off the coast of Virginia; Assateague Island is off the coast of Maryland and Virginia and connected to Chincoteague via a bridge.
The wild ponies live on Assateaugue Island and are divided into two main herds. The Chincoteague ponies on the south end of the island are actually owned and managed by the Chincoteague volunteer fire department. Because of nesting birds and other conditions, the Chincoteague ponies are restricted to certain parts of the island.
The Assateague ponies on the Maryland end of the island are truly wild and allowed to roam free in the Assateague Island National Seashore.
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