The population of brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park will be reduced to 3,000 from more than 14,000 by mid-2027 under a final plan to deal with the heated problem.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean says the final management plan released on Wednesday strikes the right balance between protecting the horses’ heritage value and maintaining the park’s conservation values.
The plan will see the park divided into three areas.
Nearly a third of the area – 32 percent – will still be home to wild horses.
The government says these are the areas with the strongest links to the heritage values that Brumby represents, with links to historical pastoralism and brumby running.
A 21 percent portion of the park will see all wild horses removed.
The remaining 47 percent are currently brumby-free and will remain so.
The reduction in the number of wild horses roaming through the park is intended to protect endangered species, such as the northern and southern corroboree frogs, and ecosystems.
Passive trapping and rehousing will be used to shrink the population, with the government committing itself to complying with best practice animal welfare requirements.
The target of 3,000 is set for June 30, 2027.
Sir. Kean said the plan is based on consultation with scientific and community representatives, Aboriginal stakeholders and more than 4,000 public submissions.
Monaro MP and former Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro, who gave his keynote address to parliament on Wednesday, said the plan was the culmination of many years of work by passionate people.
“I am so proud that we have been able to provide security to my local voters on this important issue,” he said.
“This final plan provides everyone with security by providing a way to manage a sustainable wild horse population in only very select areas of the park.
“But more importantly, it recognizes their important heritage value for future generations.”
The Nature Conservation Council welcomed the plan, and CEO Chris Gambian said wild horses had done “countless damage to iconic landscapes for decades”.
Sir. Gambian said leaving 3,000 horses was still a massive risk to endangered species, but any action was better than the “gross passivity” that had come before.
Australian Associated Press