Kosciuszko - Australia's own natural cathedral
Kosciuszko National Park is an incredible natural cathedral that draws more than a million people a year who come to experience its raw beauty.
It helps deliver almost a third of the Murray Darling Basin’s annual water yield, is home to ancient glacial landscapes and is rich in alpine wildflowers and native animals found nowhere else on Earth.
Listed as a National Heritage Property, Kosciuszko is home to some of Australia’s most threatened native animals, including the critically endangered mountain pygmy-possum and southern corroboree frog, the broad-toothed mouse, listed as Vulnerable, and the alpine she-oak, which only exists in a very small area within the park.
Our largest alpine park
Kosciuszko National Park is the largest of Australia’s alpine parks, the other two are Namadgi National Park in the ACT and the Alpine National Park in Victoria.
It is home to Australia’s highest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko (2228 metres), and is one of the best known and most spectacular protected areas in the country.
Its beginnings can be traced back to the Snowy Mountains National Chase, which was declared in 1906, but which only covered the highest peaks.
In 1944 part of what we now know as Kosciuszko National Park was protected in the Kosciuszko State Park. The state park was created for nature conservation and to protect the area from soil erosion. However, it did not eliminate seasonal cattle grazing.
In 1967 Kosciuszko National Park was created under a new National Parks and Wildlife Act and cattle grazing was banned.
Part of the Australian Alps
The Australian Alps are a system of rugged mountain landscapes shaped by their higher elevation, climate, soils, native plants and animals and in some areas, ancient glaciers.
They straddle eastern Victoria, south-eastern NSW and the Australian Capital Territory and include the Australian Alpine Bioregion, the only bioregion on the Australian mainland in which deep snow falls annually.
Kosciuszko National Park is completely within NSW and occupies about 87 per cent of the Australian Alpine Bioregion. Bioregions are defined by natural boundaries and are distinct from political state borders, which are administrative boundaries.
Nature does not recognise boundaries
The NSW Government is a signatory to the Australian Alps Memorandum of Understanding, and is supposed to work with the Victorian, ACT and Australian governments to protect this area.
However, just like the rest of nature feral horses do not recognise state boundaries, making it imperative that all governments work together to protect Kosciuszko National Park from multiple conservation threats, including feral horses.
Both the ACT and Victoria are actively attempting to control feral horses in their parts of the Australian Alps, but their efforts are becoming increasingly more challenging by the lack of action by the NSW Government.
Frustration has become so great that in February 2019 ACT environment minister Mick Gentleman called the NSW Government’s lack of action on feral horses ‘irresponsible’, and ACT Parks manager Brett McNamara warned the feral horses in NSW could increasingly enter and destroy the ACT’s water catchment areas near Namadgi National Park.