At stake

Kosciuszko National Park is an incredible natural cathedral that draws more than three million people a year to experience its raw beauty, natural and cultural history, snowfields, walking, riding and sightseeing.

It is home to ancient glacial landscapes, life-sustaining water catchments. It is rich in alpine wildflowers and native animals found nowhere else on Earth. A fragile landscape, it is particularly vulnerable to the hard hooves of feral horses.
 

Our largest alpine park

Spanning over 670,000 hectares, Kosciuszko National Park is Australia’s largest alpine park. It lies entirely within NSW and is home to Australia’s highest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko, which stands 2228 metres above sea level. Kosciuszko National Park is one of the best known and most spectacular protected areas in the country.

 

Part of the Australian Alps

Kosciuszko adjoins Namadgi National Park in the Australian Capital Territory and the Alpine National Park in Victoria. These three parks form the majority of the National Heritage-listed Australian Alps – a system of rugged mountain landscapes shaped by their higher elevation, climate, soils, native plants and animals and in some areas, ancient glaciers. It is the only region on the Australian mainland in which deep snow falls annually.

 

Rare alpine wildlife

Kosciuszko is home to some of Australia’s most threatened native animals, including the critically endangered northern and southern corroboree frogs which inhabit soft, mossy, bogs, the endangered mountain pygmy possum, the vulnerable broad-toothed mouse and the alpine she-oak skink, which can only be found within small pockets of the park. Not to mention, incredibly rare alpine daisies and orchids that are found nowhere else in the world.

 

Vital water catchments

The headwaters of mighty Murray, Murrumbidgee and Snowy rivers start in Kosciuszko National Park. Water that flows from Kosciuszko’s mountain springs delivers almost a third of the Murray Darling Basin’s annual water yield (Ref 1). The high water-holding capacity of snow and alpine soils and vegetation, allows the slow discharge of water to keep streams flowing throughout the year.

 

Indigenous significance

The area now known as Kosciuszko National Park was the traditional home of two Aboriginal groups – the Walgalu people and the Ngarigo people (Ref 2). In summer, Indigenous people from many areas travelled to the alpine areas to feast on bogong moths and to gather peacefully for trade, ceremony, marriages, social events and to settle differences (Ref 3). The National Park contains many sites of significance and artefacts.

 

Mounting pressures

After decades of human exploitation, 1944 saw the creation of ‘Kosciusko’ State Park to permanently protect 526,000 hectares for water catchments, recreation and nature conservation. However, the traditional practice of seasonal cattle grazing continued in the park causing immense soil erosion until 1967 when Kosciuszko National Park was declared under the new National Parks and Wildlife Act and cattle grazing was banned. Kosciuszko now incorporates 670,000 hectares and is NSW’s largest National Park.

In the 21st century, protected areas have never been more important. The conservation of Kosciuszko into the future faces many management challenges, including climate change, increasing tourism, infrastructure development, weeds and pest animals.

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Kosciuszko National Park from destructive feral horses.

Reclaim Kosci represents a broad consortium of individuals and organisations that love Kosciuszko National Park and seek to protect it from the impacts of feral horses.

Reclaim Kosci respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live, work and learn. We pay respect to elders past, present and future, and recognise the continuing connection of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the land, water and culture.