Gallery of damage

Australia’s alpine plants and animals did not evolve with heavy, hard-hoofed animals and many rely on habitats that are now being severely damaged by horses.

In both NSW and Victoria, the scientific committees advising the governments on threatened species have concluded that feral horses are a major threat in alpine and sub alpine habitats. The NSW committee found that ‘habitat damage in streams, wetlands and adjacent riparian systems occurs through selective grazing, trampling, track creation, pugging (soil compaction), wallowing, dust bathing leading to stream bank slumping and destruction, stream course disturbance and incision and sphagnum bog and wetland destruction.’

All of Kosciuszko is sensitive to damage by feral horses. The greatest horse impacts have been focused in the most sensitive areas, especially wetlands, waterways, alpine and sub-alpine areas. Horse herds move annually into Main Range during spring and summer and they have also been seen on the alpine plateaus.