What legacy do you think we should leave for future generations?

by nicole, over 3 years ago
Thank you for your contribution to this discussion. You can still view the material and the discussion. While this discussion is closed, new discussions will continue to open until 12 December 2014.

We were recently approached by a student from Jindabyne Central School about her intention to do her forthcoming speech for the 2014 Rostrum public speaking competition on the issue of wild horse management in Kosciuszko National Park. As Molly states in her speech, it is a topic generating significant interest in her local area. 

THIS FORUM OPENED ON 22 OCTOBER AND CLOSED ON 7 NOVEMBER 


She was encouraged by NPWS staff to seek all sides of the story and was assisted with contacts for a range of people, including brumby advocate groups, to seek opinions and viewpoints. Molly delves into some of the opposing views of the issue and leaves us with the question of what legacy we, every one of us, will leave for future generations as a result of our attitudes towards wild horse management. 

As required by Rostrum, Molly wrote the speech herself using the material she had collected. It was posted on Youtube and the Rostrum website.

NPWS sought permission from the student and her parents to use it as it provides yet another perspective on the issue, this time from a 12 year old resident of the district.

We remind all visitors to be aware of the Forum Etiquette and Moderation guidelines, which can be found at https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/moderation


  • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
    Leaving aside the plus/minus of Brumbies in Parks, the future generation’s topic may have started more constructively had the video not included misleading information. My key response follows the [bracket video section] below;[No natural predators] - response; Natural Brumby predators include; snakes, dogs, drought, snow dumps, wild fires, although yes; they are in-sufficient to keep the population from increasing.[Horse population dramatically increased] - response; there were 5,200 Brumbies in 2001 (Dawson) and the draft 2014 count is 6,000 (+/- 2,000). This period covers the severe wild fires 2003 impacts on horse numbers. An increase of 800 Brumbies in 11 years is a small not dramatic increase.[Endangered animals like the Corroborie Frog] - response; Primary cause of decline of the Southern & Northern Corroboree Frog is Chytrid Fungus, spread by the Common Eastern Froglet that lives alongside the Corroboree Frog. Then comes climate change, drought & wild fires that increase decline. Introduced animal are after these.[Broad Tooth Rats lose homes, food supply & eventually die] - response; Feral cats, habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation from roads, ski runs and buildings, wild fires, hazard reduction burning, rabbits, hares, exotic weeds, global warming etc. are also mentioned. Wild horse threats are 8th on the list of 10 threat points. [Animals not found anywhere else in the world] - response; the Broad Tooth Rat also lives in Barrington Tops, NSW. [Up to 14,000 wild horses in the Australian Alps] - response; Early 2014 both KNP & Victorian Alps horse numbers were counted. Results (draft) are 6,000 (+/- 2,000) in KNP, Victorian Alps count not released. If ‘up to’ 14,000 is correct, Vic Alps would have 4,000 (+/- 2,000 using same report format). Why do we hear this Vic Alps count via video, when it has not been released publically? [Will we be known as?] - response; A third option of sustainable Brumby numbers is also an option.Regards, Bio-Brumby
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    • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
      [No natural predators] - so she's not technically correct but I don't think she's far off it. [population increase] - the increase between 2003 and now is quite significant. And given that she did the talk before the 2014 figures were out (see below) the predicted increase was huge.[frog] - can NPWS do anything about any of the other causes? The horses are something that they can manage, especially given that they are introduced[14000 horses] - I think the estimates for 2012 for were 13800 for the whole Australian Alps. Perhaps she rounded that up to 14000 - not a huge jump and a lot easier to say. Certainly within the error bounds, as others have pointed out the error range isn't small. Everyone who is criticising her on this one should do a bit more research. She gave the talk in late August - I think the 25th Aug based on the YouTube video uploaded on 26/8/14. This site shows the 2014 count figures as being released on 9th September - AFTER SHE GAVE THE TALK.
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      • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
        Hi Peter_mcc, Please remember I am not criticising Molly, she did her public speaking well, I refer only information she said she had been given by NPWS and that in my view, our KNP chat debate sensitivities are not helped by publishing incorrect data. By comparing 2001 figures with 2014, I included 'predators' Horses have, and continue to have; so comparison is more realistic than by taking the count from 2003.The 2014 count results were known to NPWS before they gave 14,000 to Molly for her talk.All this aside, I feel we would get further by talking of sustainable Brumby numbers, managed by fertility control (for under 200), passive trapping, rehoming to responsible people and euthanizing unwanted Brumbies on site. Wild Horses in sustainable numbers, (i.e.; not effecting the landscape robustness, or ability to seasonally recover), adds to Bio-diversity, reduces wild fire damage and increases landscape robustness. National Parks are for all Australians, as supported under the relevant NP Act. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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        • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
          While I totally agree there are more important things to talk about, it's been bugging me that people have been criticising NPWS over Molly's talk. I imagine that she would have come to them, asked some info and then probably gone her own way. I don't imagine that NPWS followed her up in detail to make sure that she was "on message" - firstly because they probably don't have the time to follow up every school project enquiry and secondly because I'm sure that's not how Rostrum talks work (ie it has to be Molly's work). Her previous talk was done in late July (semi finals) so she probably came to NPWS at the end of July or start of August. I imagine they would have given her some info and names of people to contact and she would have done so over the following weeks.I don't agree NPWS could have given Molly the figures before her talk - the PDF of the report was done on 1st Sept by someone independent of NPWS. NPWS would have probably had an idea of what the figures were but it is an independent report, not a NPWS one, so exactly how much they knew is up for debate. Given that the full report has yet to be published (as far as I'm aware) I would be surprised if the figures were available much before September anyway.And even if they were known to NPWS they would not have been able to release them publicly a month before publication - no researcher would allow their research results to be partially released like that, especially when the reason was for a school talk. The current results are marked "draft" anyway - they would have been even more draft a month before.I find it disappointing that people doubt NPWS staff so much that they think they have given a yr 6 student false numbers for a talk in a school competition so that NPWS could later use the talk as propaganda. If people have that level of distrust of NPWS staff (and it seems some do) then the whole process is doomed. No matter what comes out of it it will be seen as a conspiracy where the results have been manipulated. I don't know any NPWS staff anywhere but, like a lot of politics, it seems sad that people who disagree with them question their integrity.I'll shut up now on this one... sorry, it's been bugging me since this topic came out and I read some of the replies.
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          • HVBA Vice President almost 4 years ago
            My real concern here was that when this video was posted, and when others have been posted for that matter, it does not have any disclaimer on it from admin. They could have said, "please note this speech represents the view of the presenter" or "while Molly did an excellent job researching her speech we are concerned that we may have given her incorrect information at the time and would like to take this opportunity to correct the following points...". I know this is a little picky, but it would just help to not alienate people who look at something like this and think "What is even the point in commenting, NSW parks have clearly already made up their mind" unfortunately I know this has been happening and that is a real shame because this is the only way we get to have a say and every little comment counts.
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            • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
              No disclaimer on any of the videos and content, statements which are obviusly probrumby or criticise parks. Can't see any jumping up and down about that?
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              • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                Hi Perplexed, NPWS put a disclaimer on the Dead Horse Gap skiing naturalists report of apparent cannibalism, Cheers, Bio-Brumby
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                • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
                  My point exactly! the reaction that I saw to the conversation article was that most thought that it was not pro brumby.There is no disclaimer on the guardian videos of comments, withoutr quoting, that 'Brumbies are here to stay' and 'brummbies are our australian heritage' or comments in the brumby rehoming videos that 'i dont believe the numbers' which I think many on the protect our native environment end of this discussion don't align themselves with, but we are not jumping up and down about it claiming bias. we accept it as a differernt viewpoint that has been presented for our consideration.
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                  • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                    Hi Perplexed, You asked about disclaimers and I replied. Seems you are OK with NPWS not distancing themselves from incorrect information, interesting. As you say we come from different viewpoints. Regards, Bio-Brumby.
          • Donna almost 4 years ago
            As with the HVBA Vice President, my issue was not with the delivery of the information, but the content. Without a disclaimer, it certainly gives the impression it is endorsed by NPWS, as was the case with the Guardian article on our blood thirsty brumbies. It is no accident that each video or article included in these discussions is quite obviously in favour of removing the horses, and although it's to be expected, it certainly does not help to ease the often well founded fear of bias, nor does it indicate impartiality. That being the case, it is difficult to approach this issue and put those fears aside, understandably I feel.
          • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
            Hi peter_mcc, it is vital for this public chat room to SEPARATE the fact that a 12 year old girl did well on her public speaking challenge, from the contents that were spoken, without a disclaimer per HVBA Vice President's comments. It would have been more prudent for NPWS to have checked the facts before they went to air, since they were then going to be discussed in an open, public, sensitive, forum, but they did not. I for one will be glad when this topic has closed, hopefully on schedule. Again I call for all of us to switch to talking about what can be achieved, not whether something is one extreme or the other. The park is for all Australians, their interests, passions and life experiences, we should be able to find a balanced mid position. Regards, Bio-Brumby
        • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
          Biobrumby, I gather from your comment you will be happy with just 200 horses being left in the park, with their population being maintained by fertility control? Maybe that is something everyone can live with and we should aim for? Tghe issue is how do we get that number, and where are they retained? Personally I think parks should aim for eradication as they have a legal responsibility to do this as with all introduced ferals, or to at least knock back their numbers to reduce the impact to acceptable levels. I am saddened that people can not see that from an animal welfare perspective the best thing would be to eradicate to stop the never ending harvesting of horses off the top of a pest horse population. but I realise that eradication is probably unachievable given lack of resources and the nature of the country, and unthinking or uncaring people would just put them back as they do now anyway. As to your statements about horses adding to biodiversity, reducing wildfire damage and increasing landscape robustness, I would really like to see what science you base these on. Everything I have read about 50 years of research on cattle grazing in the high country would probably not align with the view you put forward.
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          • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
            Hi Perplexed, Apologies for any confusion. The 200 I referred to was for a physically separated section of horses for fertility control to be feasible at this stage. Agree NPWS are required to manage the number of introduced animals to keep the impact to acceptable levels. An example is the recent draft Victorian Alps management plan that proposed a sustainable level of 5,000. However, Parks Victoria, unlike NPWS, have not yet released their section of the early 2014 horse population count, so hopefully it will be under 5,000. Parks Victoria also have some physically separated population/s of up to 200 horses, other separated areas are above that. To keep overall Parks Victoria numbers at 5,000 passive trapping per above suggestion is the most humane way in my view. My key message is sustainable numbers, identified scientifically and managed to within the required level. When horse populations are sustainable, both they and their environment, gain optimum benefits of bio-diversity, lowered catastrophic fire risks and robust landscapes. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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            • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
              This one still seems to be open? With respect, its your opinion about, biodiversity, fire risk and robust landscapes. I see no scientific reference or facts? I thought we were getting somewhere if we were talking a population of 200 being acceptable. A population of 5000 in victoria is certainly not on my acceptable scale for both its impact on the native ecosystems and the ongoing humaneness issues of having to harvest large numbers of animals for no good reason to keep it there.
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              • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                Hi Perplexed, The benefits of ‘conservation grazing’ are increasingly being used in many countries such as Africa, Rumania, Argentina, England, Austria etc. It would be valuable for KNP to trial these programs so we can see the results for ourselves. Let’s stop talking of an all or nothing focus, instead talk of managed horse populations kept within limits the environment can cope with, as already occurs in most of KNP. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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                • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
                  Just trying to make my point about the stalling tactis of the call for peer reviewed science about impact of grazing on australias native ecosystems which has been met, refer listing of horses as a threatening process in Vic. https://theconversation.com/science-the-loser-in-victorias-alpine-grazing-trial-3. When I ask for same about claims about beneficial results of brumbies in what are supposed to be our conservation reserves no response. We could go on like this forever.
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                  • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                    Hi Perplexed, I am talking specifically on Brumbies increasing bio-diversity, reducing fire risk and increasing the environmental robustness where they live, in managed numbers. Horses have a caecal, or post-gastric, digestive system which enables them to eat coarser, drier vegetation. Horses also have teeth designed to cut through grass, rather than cattle that uproot grass with their tongue, see picture on your conservation article. The conversation link referencing ‘Government-appointed task force’ no longer exists.The conversation report uses subjective, not objective, language.Agree science should be open, transparent and free from bias, so maybe the two Uni authors should be publishing their background report rather than referring to nine year old material they seem to base their article on, as they say later in this article ‘it is the scientists’ job to provide evidence to inform decisions’.The conservation link to 125 concerned scientists was a letter to prevent the trial, not a report on trial results. The horses eating habits are different to cattle, hence the need for recognition of new learning on conservation grazing. The ref below is not specifically horses, but uses cattle which you spoke of. More horse specific links to follow. - Allan Savory works to promote holistic management in the grasslands of the world. I could not get the link to be directly active using this forum, maybe admin can adjust it. Suggest you do a cut & past to the link which is active. Regards, Bio-brumby
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                    • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
                      Bio brumby, i am not sure I agree with your views and definitions on biodiversity. The lose of species dependent on alpine bog a and peat lands and the ecosystem itself whether it be via, fire, climate change, introduced invasive species whether they be deer, pigs, rabbits or horses, yes horses, I have seen them standing in the middle of sphagnum bogs and there dung in KNP and the replacement of those ecosystems and species to a monoculture akin to a paddock and species (Equus callabus) that can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica and in plague proportions does not sit well with my definition of improving biodiversity. I just don't see how so many learned scientists, could get it so wrong. Native species good for the environment they evolved in, introduced invasive species (horses) bad for an environment that they have been dumped in and allowed to breed up because effective management is blocked because of sentimental attachments. See here: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/australias-biodiversity-conservation-strategyWe could go on like this forever, but I'm sorry, I think the references to mega fauna being replaced by introduced hard hoofed species is garbage science and clutching at straws. Lets bring in elephants, rhino, or breed bigger wombats if we really want to do that. Give me a list of the introduced species in Australia that have been on the balance overall beneficial for the australian environment that they have been introduced to.I think we may never agree other than that the horses need to be managed. The next challenge is to what number, and then the next challenge, how?
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                      • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                        Hi Perplexed, Thanks for the link on Biodiversity strategy, I appreciated the high level approach that did not focus on one species as the culprit. This comprehensive approach could be a reasonable framework to consider sustainable horse numbers, per KNP area. We probable see different plusses in this strategy, but for me the following extracts I can live with;1. Biodiversity (biological diversity)—Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources (including terrestrial, aquatic, marine and other ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part), at all levels of organisation, including genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. 2. Ecosystem resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to changes and disturbances, yet retain its basic functions and structures. For ecosystems to be resilient to these and other threats, they need a healthy diversity of individuals, species and populations. 3. Biodiversity is one of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change.4. The glossary of terms at the end is very helpful to increase my awareness, I am no scientist...I appreciate your concern on the alpine bog & peat lands, per ranging comments already aired in KNP's chat room. I also appreciate the comment 'we may never agree other than that the horses need to be managed'. So I will attempt to offer a possible range of solutions to your first challenge ‘to what number’;a. Classify each KNP area according to its ecosystem resilient per link above definition.b. Where ecosystem is resilient, maintain horse populations around that level. c. If ecosystem resilience is struggling, reduce horse numbers by i.e. 10% each year until the ecosystem stabilises using scientifically based ongoing monitoring etc. [Vital other negative influences are also managed at the same time].Special measures for extra sensitive areas like bogs/peat areas, could be fenced, and an unfenced buffer zone beyond the fence created to attract horses to dryer, less horse populated areas [thus away from sensitive bogs/peat]. Keep the horse numbers low in the buffer zone so they are not tempted to move back to bog/peat areas. My suggestions to your second challenge, 'how' – Maybe we consider maintaining identified sustainable levels by;A. Passive trapping [NPWS have trapped up to 670].B. Trial humaneness of active trapping/mustering where Brumbies are moved at the pace of the slowest. C. Rehome where possible and sadly for me, euthanize on site horses not rehomed. D. Commence fertility control programs on suitable sized populations using i.e. PZP which is delivered by dart gun [no trapping needed] and using techniques to dart selected mares without causing them to run off.... Any thoughts as a starting point to 'manage'. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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                        • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
                          Logical approach bio brumby however I disagree with your approach of reducing by only 10%. In my view parks should be aiming to reduce by say 50 - 90% in favour of the native species! not the introduced species that is causing the damage. This again would better reflect the legislative responsibilities. I hate throwing it out there as many baulk at it but a 'precautionary principle' should be applied, and that principle should reflect the natural ecosystem not one that has been created by human intervention of introducing foreign threats to the ecosystem. As to control methods the other factor is financial implications, economics, we can not dismiss it as tax payers looking for value for money and I as one expect parks to use the most cost effective methods as long as they are humane and for me that also incorporates aerial and ground shooting into the mix in the appropriate areas of KNP.
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                          • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                            Hi Perplexed, Glad you feel my suggestion is logical, apart from the 10% in areas where resilience is unable to keep up. The problem with 50-90% from my view point is that we do not know which native species have come to rely on the presence of horses. For example, Newheaven Station (NT) removed all wild horses from their property, only to lose night parrot siting’s. My idea to reduce 10% each year in areas where seasonal cycles are not regenerating the landscape would occur in parallel with conducting;1. Series of annual native species count (the link highlighted the lack of this), and2. Scientifically peer reviewed assessments (incl. control areas) to assess the % damage due to horses vs climate change, pigs, goats, deer, rabbits, etc.3. Population numbers can then be reassessed and adjusted accordingly.KNP is not suitable to aerial or ground shooting 'free' animals because KNP's steep slopes/tree cover make accurate shots near impossible, and ground back-up impossible, and therefore in my view, not humane. We may never agree on aerial/ground shooting as humane in KNP or even that the most humane option vs cost effective be selected. But would be interesting to see which management approaches could be agreed on that provide sufficient vision for the interests of all Australians - in overall balance. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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                            • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
                              Sorry bio brumby I don' t see any scientific study saying that night parrot numbers or sightings reduced attributed to any direct link that horses were removed from New Haven station? The the contrary refer here: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=59350#threats in actual fact list grazing of hard hoofed animals as a potential threat. Again interested if you can produce any australian studies where grazing of horses has been beneficial to endangered plants or animals?As to the issue of areas suitable to ground or aerial shooting within KNP, I know of plenty, where the terrain is undulating and open, and yes there are horses presently there. Long plain, Tantangara, Cooleman, open frost hollow valleys of the upper Thredbo catchment, the Main Range above the treeline, all which I have walked and skied, all suitable for open range ground shooting in my opinion. Then again I will leave that to expert opinion or advice. To me there are plenty of people commenting on control methods that have no idea or practical experience as to what is possible or not possible. How many people on this forum have actually been part of a ground shooting or aerial shooting program. Maybe we should defer to the expertise of DPI, RSPCA, parks? And before someone refers to Guy Fawkesand we start that debate again I call bogus beat up , driven by opportune politics, media and park haters. I refer you to Chapples assessment of that issue.:http://www.rzsnsw.org.au/Volumes%20of%20RZS%20papers/2005%20vol33(2)/Chapple%20R%20The%20politics%20of%20feral%20horse%20management%20in%20Guy%20Fawkes%20River%20National%20Park,%20NSW.pdf I just don't subscribe to wholesale government conspiracy and cover up agendas. I believe the media has a lot to answer for on this issue.
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                              • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                                Hi Perplexed, Few quick responses, just in case Admin actually closes this long overdue topic...a. I cannot see where your night parrot link refutes my claims.b. Grazing in sustainable numbers increases bio-diversity. Your comparison of endangered species is not relevant, unless all threats are listed.c. Since you have raise Guy Fawkes again, my response is; In July 2002, RSPCA-NSW brought 12 charges against NPWS alleging cruelty to animals; however these 12 charges were dropped, in favour of a guilty plea by NPWS to one charge. - Why did NPWS plea bargain? If they were confident of winning in court.The Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA), immediately after the 2000 aerial shooting stated that their policy on helicopter horse culling applies; “specifically to open arid and semi-arid country, where helicopters can easily pursue any injured animals to ensure they can be put down without undue suffering”, and “the very rugged forest terrain in the GFRN P is not suitable for this because of the obvious difficulty in conducting the operation in the most humane manner possible. “That in pleading guilty NPWS acknowledged unintentional cruelty upon a small number of horses, and were ordered to pay RSPCA NSW’s legal costs of $50,000 by Magistrate Grahame Hanson - is proof RSPCA-NSW’s convincing cruelty case would have been proved; if NPWS had not plea bargained. Regards, Bio-Brumby
                • InterestedObserver almost 4 years ago
                  Horses are being re-introduced to places around the world that horse like animals evolved. This clearly has benefits in those places, for that environment, and the individual species that co-evolved with them over millions of years. This includes species that prey on the horse like animals.To suggest that the same benefits are realised in areas where horse like species did not evolve is wrong.They are also reintroducing predators of herbivores in many places, where herbivores are over-abundant. Should we do that too?
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                  • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                    Hi InterestedObserver, You have a valid observation, however the benefits of conservation (horse) grazing are still the same, increase biodiversity, reduce fire risks and increase environmental robustness. I do not have a problem with species (apart from humans) that prey on horse like animals - as science comments, it increases the overall genetic strength of the prey species, thought I admit I would hate to see it actually happen, but that’s life in the raw.Each part of the original Gondwana continent has evolved, with an increasing range of bio diverse species. Australia's mega fauna was much heavier than the horse, and at least one species had hoof like feet. From my perspective, the benefits horse populations bring are just replacing the biodiversity benefits lost when Australia's mega fauna became extinct soon after the arrival of Aboriginal ancestors from the north. Regards, Bio-Brumby
  • Khankhan almost 4 years ago
    Molly mentioned the loss of habitat. A number of campers, walkers, volunteers, and ex staff have spoken of the detrimental changes to habitat, of the reduction in the numbers of birds, macropods and of seeing banks where crustaceans and animals that would burrow are no longer evident. Its not so much they see the animal/bird dying in front of them, it is that those animals/birds are no longer present or in the same numbers as before. The loss of habitat, especially along creek/river banks and wet areas, has been noted and compared by these people from their observations, of notes and by comparing their own photos from those they took decades ago, some have even used scientific techniques in their past employment. If the habitat is gone, then the creatures that lived there are highly susceptible. After the 2003 fires small mammals and small birds lost the shrubbery, and photographs show that recovery did not occur after those fires in areas where feral horses existed and that the banks had and continue to be broken down by horses. The same people visited areas where there are no feral horses, and the recovery post fire is very very different. Where feral horses exist, small mammals and small birds were subject to predation from the air, small birds were unable to rebuild nesting sites or to use dense shrubbery for migration or evation as that shrubbery was unable to re-establish at all after the fires. Currently plovers spend day and night defending ground nests from horses (and will be too exhausted to feed fledglings if the eggs survive trampling). Yet there are pockets of shrubbery and creek/river banks that eek out an existence, and do demonstrate a different picture even in those same areas. I am told this is particularly obvious in Southern Kosciuszko but also occurs in the Tantangara area.
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    • Mountain Man almost 4 years ago
      Sorry Khankhan, but your information is wrong. So it seems that you give your opinion from hearsay. I would strongly suggest that you make the effort to go see for yourself and you may well find that you will get a totally different picture than what you have painted here. Yes the 2003 fires had a dramatic impact on much of the ecosystem because it was such a widespread and hot fire. I too have noted some changes - due to fire. The loss of habitat is from the firestorm areas that recovered differently in that it is now 10 times thicker scrub than what it was before the fire and now nothing including horses lives there. The infernos mostly started in steep and non horse areas but would build up velocity to continue their path over a large area. Some non horse areas have still not recovered at all! I dont see how you can blame the horses for the non recovery of areas when 60% of the horses in the Southern Kosciuszko were dead!I have a pair of Plovers who come back every year to ground nest in the same spot in the middle of my horse paddock, they have not been trampled yet.. Nesting Plovers are supposed to 'defend' their nest day and night from predators. Horses are not predators.
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      • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
        I can't comment on the Plovers but there is evidence that "something" has been damaging the river banks. Take a look at the photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/91914657@N08/sets/72157640131136784/ and compare the difference between 1986 & 2013 - it is huge. The 2008 Horse Management plan also includes info on the damage being done, listing various studies. The taker of the photos thinks the damage is being done by horses, I haven't been there but it looks like horse sized prints in the mud.
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        • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
          Hi Peter_mcc, You have hit the nail on the heads with the comment “something" has been damaging the river banks. This is why it is essential we have scientific studies on what is causing the problem. No point in removing horses if they turn out not to be the problem. Money wasted for no return so to speak. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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          • InterestedObserver almost 4 years ago
            But when the damage is littered with horse prints, there's horse dung throughout the area, and there's a lot of horses seen in the area, it's not hard to conclude that maybe horses are causing that impact. Many people refuse to believe the scientific studies and surveys that are available - how much more money needs to spent on surveys that people ignore or refute on spurious grounds.
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            • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
              Hi InterestedObserver, Just because one sees horse prints and dung (which adds to biodiversity) does not mean horses are causing damage, from my perspective it could be argued they are improving biodiversity, provided the volume is kept at manageable limits. The key is sustainable numbers, not overabundant and not under abundant. Regards, Bio-Brumby
  • Themba almost 4 years ago
    This subject is quickly degenerating into a re-hash of all the arguments already covered in previous forums. Can I suggest that we all "chill out, agree to disagree" and return to the question "What legacy do you think we should leave for future generations?". Leaving the horse debate aside, the question should be focusing on the park as a whole and not concentrated on one item in my honest opinion. There are alot of issues affecting the park that do not include the horses but should be included in what we would like to leave as a legacy for future generations.
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    • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
      I tend to agree with you Themba. The issue is as far as I can see from the reactions in this conversation topic, is that we still have a pro brumby community out there, or sections of, that refuse to acknowledge or accept that horses are having a impact on the park. Whether that impact is positive or negative, and at what scale is again a matter of debate.No matter what research, data, evidence is put forward it is an objective to discredit or deny it or label it as biased or a conspiracy even when it is balanced if it is counter to their strong held view. Thats what drew me to first comment. It like the climate science debate, we may just have to agree to disagree on the points and whether the research and evidence is sufficient to establish those points. For me it is pretty obvious, I can accept for many others that it may not be so obvious, or that the decline of bog systems and other environments through a range of pressures and the flora an fauna that rely on them doesnt really matter to them. We often don't appreciate what we do not even know we have or until it is gone. Likewise, we have a pro green conservation community, or sections there of, that refuse to acknowledge that many people in the community love the brumbies and want to see some remain or have different views about what the national park is there for. We also have a pro brumby community asking why just concentrate on brumbies and that they are being made a 'scapegoat' for all the threats and impacts on the park and ills of park mismanagement and its environment. A reasonable question. I don't think anyone is saying that however, and you only just have to look at all the plans and programs in place to address these other pressures and threats. Refer the parks plan of management or the pest mananagement strategy. It does not just talk about horses but a whole range of threats and issues including humans, and puts frward strategies and ideas to address. Again debateable whether they are successful or not or appropriately resourced. The issue I see here is that to do nothing about the horses as an approach or embrace a current strategy that is not working nor likely to work in isolation then you may as well give up on the other threats and pressures as well, so the discussion about horses specifically must be had. On top of that most people don't care about the management of pigs, foxes, wild dogs, cats unless you are a local farmer loosing stock from some of these, but lots of people do care and have an interest about what happens to the brumbies and how that is done, because they love and appreciate horses despite their impacts in a landscape which they are foreign to. How you find that balance I do not know. I suppose that is why parks are going to all this effort but is unlikely to please anyone 100%. For me I hope they do the right thing by and favour our native environment, as to me that is what they are there for. Your view may differ. I find this persons take on the situation interesting and it has helped me think about my position on this issue and attitudes to horses:http://horsesfordiscourses.wordpress.com/
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      • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
        Hi Perplexed, Thanks for your more moderating balance of different views. I also am now focussing on ‘balance’ as our key goal. In my view, we/all Australians, can both support KNP threatened species AND have horses in sustainable numbers, meaning impacts are kept within limits that do not detract from the ecology’s ability to retain robustness. This means identifying sustainable horse numbers, per KNP location, and managing to those limits by passive trapping, rehoming where possible, euthanizing on site horses not rehomed and fertility control where isolated populations are under 200. That way both they and their environment, gain optimum benefits of bio-diversity, lowered catastrophic fire risks and robust landscapes. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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        • InterestedObserver almost 4 years ago
          Again, claims of benefits of horses in the australian environment, and more particularly in kozzie, are wrong. If horses are retained it is purely for the cultural values and tourism benefit. If only environmental, bio-diversity and landscape values are considered, horses provide only impacts and damage.Failure to recognise this will result in us being looked upon with disgust from future generations with a greater understanding of the importance of the environment and our reliance upon it.
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          • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
            Hi InterestedObserver, To reply would be to repeat my earlier comments, so best we agree to disagree on this. thanks for your interaction.Regards, Bio-Brumby
  • Themba almost 4 years ago
    I have to say that I am extremely disappointed in the use of the Molly R presentation for this question. The presentation is so full of inaccuracies and so obviously biased against the horses I really have to question if it was used to inflame the issue. In my opinion, it would have been better if the question was posted without the presentation video.To answer the question: The legacy I would like to see for future generations is to show how the park can be managed in a positive way without cruelty for everyone to enjoy it, those who want to see wild horses and those who don't. This is an opportunity to show future generations how far we have come as a civilised species which cares for creatures other than ourselves and works hard to find alternatives to the cruel practices conducted in the past. Society is increasingly becoming more aware of animals welfare issues with this now being reflected in their supermarket choices. Not agreeing to shooting as a management practice for the horse will highlight to future generations how progressive NPWS is in it's management of the park by using non lethal practices and how they did not rely on out-dated practices that people are increasingly finding objectionable.
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    • nicole almost 4 years ago
      Thanks Themba. We want to remind all commenters to be aware of the Forum Guidelines at https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/moderation and to be respectful of the contribution made by the 12 year old subject.
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      • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
        Admin, I've bit my lip long enough. I am more than a little concerned as to the tone of response that the 3 contributions so far to this discussion thread have taken accusing of children being used and brainwashed. Parks as far as I see have used a legitimate work by a local student that in most reasonable peoples view would be regarded as a balanced assessment of the dilemma that faces them about horses, in presenting views from both sides in a short 3 minute speech. The student, (who I know by the way, and has no links to Parks) should be congratulated for taking the time to find out the views and opinions from all angles of a complex argument and leaves the viewer with an open question, not her brainwashed opinion as these contributors have overreacted to and would have you believe. One even makes an assessment and comment without even watching the video? I think they need to chill out and look at the bigger picture. No wonder so many reasonable people are reluctant to contribute their views to this issue when they are attacked in this way when they express a counter and in even in this case a balanced viewpoint. I think they need to be pulled into line please.J
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        • nicole almost 4 years ago
          Hi Perplexed, thanks for your comment. We share your concern, and you will note we are taking the appropriate action. I should stress that where comments are removed, we will welcome amended submissions, giving due consideration to moderation guidelines, from those commenters.
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          • Donna almost 4 years ago
            Admin, I am appalled at the obvious and blatant bias being shown toward the supporters of this video, whilst obvious discrimination is being shown toward those of us voicing out opinion on it. The HVBA VP said nothing untoward in her comment and was not disrespectful to the child in the video, and the same can be said for Themba and myself. You state you removed the comment by the HVBA VP due to it not respecting the views of others but is that not what you yourself have done by removing her comment?? You are preventing the opinion of any person who disagrees with the content or intent of the video and that is obvious preferential treatment that speaks volumes about the true nature of this process and I guarantee you it will not go unnoticed.
        • Donna almost 4 years ago
          Pulled into line?! I'm sorry, but neither myself or any of the other contributors has been disrespectful to the CHILD in this video, not in any way. Would your indignation be fueled by the fact you're a friend of the student? We are not in any way obligated to believe every single view point put forward, whether it is delivered through the innocence of a child or not. I do not recall the HVBA VP using the word "brainwashed" and I know I certainly haven't, so it would seem you are the one overreacting in that regard."Attacked in this way"?! I do believe you're being blatantly inflammatory. Again, not one of the contributors including myself has attacked any one, least of all a child. We most definitely have expressed our strong disappointment in parks decision to use this video on the site in what is an obvious ploy - will they include the same by a 'pro brumby' student I wonder??
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          • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
            The comments and views of this discussion thread,video and someones balanced contribution speak volumes as to peoples position on this issue and the ability to rationally consider all views and it reflects in people posts. we are obviously not watching the same video or hearing the same things or clouded by our prejudices. some can recognise that, others can't.
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            • Themba almost 4 years ago
              I think you are quite correct in your comment "we are obviously not watching the same video" as you appear to believe it is totally unbiased and does not include inaccurate information. The comments posted, which you disagree with, are about the content of the presentation and not directed at the young girl at all. Not knowing this young girl we are not clouded by any sentiment regarding her and are able to view the presentation and it's content as it is presented, the same as the people in the audience who didn't know her.
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              • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
                Let's break it down here. There are cries of bias. The presenter after speaking to people with differing views and gathering information from a number of sources talks about horses and their impact. Our pro brumby friends cry foul because they fail to recognise or accept despite research, and obvious physical evidence. you only have to visit any area of KNP currently occupied by horses to see it, smell it standing in it, and trip over it, It is undeniable. The presenter then goes on to talk about the value of horses, tourism, our heritage, pioneering history, and enjoying to see horses, actually talking up the competing values of horses. Outlining that there in lies the dilemma. The speaker talks of the difficulties faced with managing them and the conflicting community attitudes around different control methods and then leaves the audience with an open question not even an opinion, other than decisions need to be made, something needs to be done and we can no longer put our head in the sand on this issue. The government department tasked with trying to resolve this vexed problem use this video to promote some thought and discussion around what kind of legacy do we wish to leave for our children, a community that allows our natural heritage of native flora and fauna and ecosystems to fade into extinction or a community that destroys a national icon. A vexed problem. Our pro brumby friends who can not see the forest or bogs for the beautiful horses so to speak react to this that children are being used, and it is some conspiracy agalinst them concocted by a government department taking the time to seek all community attitudes. This on the same web page where people are allowed to post there beautiful and touching stories about brumbies and how they enjoy there presence in the park, and they label the process and the video as biased or unbalanced. I remain Perplexed. Seems a bit one sided to me.Yes many of us love horses, love animals and do not want to see cruelty or in humane treatment. we also do not want to see the cruelty and inhumanity of allowing our native flora and fauna and the ecosystems they depend on slowly drifting into decline through habitat destruction in the places that were supposed to be set aside to protect them and realise that hard decisions need to be made.
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                • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
                  Hi Perplexed, Please remember I am not criticising Molly, she did her public speaking well, I refer only information she said she had been given by NPWS and that in my view, our KNP chat debate sensitivities are not helped by publishing incorrect data.By comparing 2001 figures with 2014, I included 'predators' Horses have, and continue to have; so comparison is more realistic than by taking the count from 2003.The 2014 count results were known to NPWS before they gave 14,000 to Molly for her talk.All this aside, I feel we would get further by talking of sustainable Brumby numbers, managed by fertility control (for under 200), passive trapping, rehoming to responsible people and euthanizing unwanted Brumbies on site. Wild Horses in sustainable numbers, (i.e.; not effecting the landscape robustness, or ability to seasonally recover), adds to Bio-diversity, reduces wild fire damage and increases landscape robustness. National Parks are for all Australians, as supported under the relevant NP Act. Regards, Bio-Brumby
        • Themba almost 4 years ago
          I was not accusing any child of being brainwashed! The presentation being a balanced assessment of the dilemma facing the horses is really up to the person watching the presentation to decided. In my opinion it was clearly biased against the horses and I believe a more balanced and unbiased presentation would have been better to use for this subject.
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          • Donna almost 4 years ago
            I totally agree Themba. There have been no breaches of moderation guidelines, no attacking and certainly no claims of brainwashing - but there is obviously an agenda being worked for all to see and we're being targeted because we beg to differ.
          • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
            Themba, the dilemma not only faces the horses, the dilemma faces the whole park and the native flora and fauna that can be found nowhere else and rely on the native ecosystems in the park and have nowhere else to go once they have been trashed. Now that's a dilemma.
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            • Themba almost 4 years ago
              Yes, that is a dilemma. But, it is no good blaming the horses for the decline in native ecosystems and the decline of native flora and fauna when humans are the ones causing the most damage. There is no concrete evidence that the horses are causing the decline of native flora and fauna or the native ecosystems. There is however, concrete evidence that humans have.
        • coastwatcher almost 4 years ago
          Well said. Getting more young people involved in dealing with matters that will likely affect their future should be commended. I suspect from reading responses on this site that there will never be a balanced point of view sadly.
      • Themba almost 4 years ago
        Hi Admin3,I meant no disrespect to the 12 year old subject, in fact I think she did a very good job of presenting (much better than I would have done at that age!). My comment was on the inaccuracies in the content and why it would be used for these forums when it is clearly biased against the horses. I am surprised that a more balanced presentation wasn't used. Surely it was realised that using a presentation biased against the horses would not be very well received. My comments also lead into my reply to the actual question about future legacy and how I would like the NPWS to be seen by future generations as being progressive in their management practices and indeed, views on the subject of the wild horses.
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        • nicole almost 4 years ago
          Hi Themba, thanks for your clarification. As to the perception of bias in the forums, I remind all commenters that the Stories feature recently added to the site provides a valuable opportunity for people to provide not only their views and stories about the brumbies, but also photos and videos. These contributions will form an important part of the overall picture we hope to get of the brumbies' place in the National Park.
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          • Themba almost 4 years ago
            I would also like to point out that the comments made by myself, Donna and HVBA Vice President were not referring to the child herself but to the acts of NSW Parks in providing Molly with obvious miss-information. I hope that the horse numbers were provided to her before the recent aerial survey was reported otherwise I would have to ask why this child was told a totally inaccurate number of horses? As to the corroboree frog, it has been widely reported in scientific fields that global warming is causing the bogs they depend on to dry out so why tell Molly that the horses are causing their decline!
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            • fsj almost 4 years ago
              I'm sure Molly did a lot of research for her speech, and I'm sure asking NPWS was only one part of the research. As it says at the top, the Parks people helped her with contact details and told her she should "seek all sides of the story". She's obviously a really smart girl, and would have done exactly that. There is a huge amount of information out there, and although it says she contacted NPWS, I'm sure that wasn't her only source of information. When I googled the corroboree frog, the first 3 sites I looked at included horses as one of their threats, along with a particular disease and climate change, so it's reasonable for Molly to include it in her speech. It wasn't necessarily National Parks who gave her that information.
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              • Themba almost 4 years ago
                I agree with you Fsj that it wasn't necessarily NP who gave Molly the incorrect information. But, by putting up a presentation that (to my mind) was obviously swayed against the horses I do believe the NP were inflaming the discussion (intentionally or not) which I don't agree with. This forum and its question regarding future legacy has now become stalled in "the horses have done this, the horses have done that" argument when it could have been a valuable insight into what people see for the future of the park.
            • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
              Because the horses are contributing to their decline. Refer the latest federal government report for alpine bog recovery.http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/9cc1f452-9121-44e1-aa88-80939c14d404/files/draft-recovery-plan-alpine-sphagnum-bogs.pdf.Pg 12 refers to the impacts of feral horses. As for the 14000 estimate feral horse population that the presenter refers to the video, if you listen carefully she refer to it as could be up to in the australian alps, not KNP,, so was probably taken from the australian alps fact sheet found on this site. It's all a great conspiracy both both a long line of state and federal government departments from across the country??Regardless of whether the figure is 14000 or 4000, there is damage that is occurring that should not be.
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              • Themba almost 4 years ago
                OK, lets look at it another way.... the horses have been living in the NP for nearly 200 years alongside the Corroboree frog with the horse numbers going up and down as they do with any other animal living in the wild. During that time the horses have most likely walked through the bogs the frogs live in and the frogs have survived and continued to breed successfully without any human intervention. The horses have not, in nearly 200 years caused the extinction of the Corroboree frog. Also note that other animals walk through the bogs, both native and exotic including humans, it is not just the horses.It is only in recent years that it has been discovered the bogs are starting to dry up due to the climate warming and this along with a particular disease that attacks the frogs is causing their decline. Yes, the horses walk through their bogs at times but they are not causing their extinction. If they were causing their extinction by trampling the bogs the frogs would have died out years ago. So, when people say that the horses are killing the frogs and use that, in isolation of other causes, as a reason the horses should be removed from the park it simply makes no sense.People are contributing to a greater extent than the horses to the decline of the frogs....what do you propose to do about that? Removing the horses from the NP is not going to cause any great increase in the frog population no matter how much you would like that to be the case.
          • Donna almost 4 years ago
            I'm sorry Admin, this comment leaves me confused. Are you saying that in order to air our 'pro brumby' opinion, we must do so via the Stories feature rather than via this open public forum?? If that is correct, you have done nothing more than verify the bias I have referred to and left little doubt that this forum is designed and targeted toward the anti brumby contributors. I'm also confused by your comment that the contributions made via the Stories feature will aid in formulating an overall picture of the brumbies place in the park - I'm confused as to how you will use these contributions to gain an overall picture of the brumbies in the park when they're no longer a part of the park?? Brumby success stories we have aplenty, yet the purpose of those is lost to me. To be completely honest I feel it is a distraction designed to ensure we no longer contribute to the issues that matter, such as this particular topic. I for one will make certain that does not happen.
    • coastwatcher almost 4 years ago
      I find it interesting on the whole of the NPWS "have your say" site that any point of view contrary to a respondents view is biased. In my view credit should be given to the 12 year old for at least taking an interest in these matters. Most 12 year olds are too busy with their IPhones and Video Games to bother . Well done Molly
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      • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
        Hi Coastwatcher, I agree that most of the comments/viewpoints are seen as bias by those of a different view. Molly did a great job at the public speaking contest and I'm glad she took the time to prepare this talk, rather than focusing on iPhone & video games. However must say I think we would get further by talking of sustainable Brumby numbers, managed by fertility control (for under 200), passive trapping, rehoming to responsible people and euthanizing unwanted Brumbies on site. Wild Horses in sustainable numbers, (i.e.; not effecting the landscape robustness, or ability to seasonally recover), adds to Bio-diversity, reduces wild fire damage and increases landscape robustness. National Parks are for all Australians, as supported under the relevant NP Act. Regards, Bio-Brumby
  • HVBA Vice President almost 4 years ago
    Here is a revised version of my original comment. Please note I do not ever intend to disrespect anyone else’s opinion with my passionate responses as the outcome of this management plan is too important to me. I welcome the fierce debate we have on this forum because I think it should eventually produce the out-of-the-box ideas necessary to find a solution to this complex issue.I would like to start by saying that I believe Molly did a fantastic speech. I suspect she will have been marked very highly for her excellent orating and the extensive effort she put into researching the topic. Unfortunately, as is often the case with the information surrounding this topic, finding that which has been rigorously analysed scientifically or even partially looked at by someone without an agenda of one form or another can be difficult. I commend Molly for taking the time to get the information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, rather than just “Google-ing” it.I am, however, disgusted that after going to this effort, the student was given incorrect information from the NSW parks people. I admit she is a 12 year old child who did her best to disentangle the complexities of this subject, but the use of the video on this forum without some sort of declaimer regarding the inaccuracies of some of the content, can be seen as an attempt to influence the opinion of those listening to her. The video contained the following inaccuracies, and I think it is important for those participating in this discussion to be aware of them. - There has NEVER been an estimate of up to 14000 horses in the alps, and we now know that those 2009 estimates of 13000 were overblown anyway. - So far, after calling for it time and again, no one has been able to provide me with ANY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that the horses are doing the damage that she was told they are doing, tell me where the paper, or report, or anything is that suggest the horses prefer to eat plants in the wet areas, I'd love to read it, in fact I'd love one about the so called compaction they are doing too. - The horses will NOT be the cause of the extinction of other species (a combination of European settlers stupidity over the past 200yrs might be). - Apparently she was told Passive Trapping, Roping, and Aerial Culling are the only control methods on the table, what happened to fertility control, mustering, ground shooting, oh and I believe it was even mentioned once in a meeting, the dreaded "DO NOTHING" approach. When was it decided that they were off the table, I must have missed that memo. - Apparently she was told, the only issue with aerial culling is that "some people" think its inhumane, what about the fact that it would be against the SOP to even use it in the park, due to how inhumane it would be (I am starting to sound like a broken record about this, but oh well, it obviously still hasn't sunk in). I love the horses, and I certainly do not only have emotion on my side (although there is plenty of that too), there is plenty of science saying the horses are not doing the damage that was expected of them, as I have posted many times. There is evidence from the recent count, that the population growth has been slowed. As the previous estimates were made under the assumption of “No Management”, we can assume that the current management plan, (implemented after the 2009 count) has at least been doing something, even if it is not as much as was hoped. There is evidence that when horses are excluded from an area, the species richness of that area decreases, and the abundance of weeds, in relation to native species, increases. This is some of the science on “my side”, just in case you are wondering if you are also on my side, it is the side calling for humane, scientifically based management.So, part of the legacy I'd like to leave is to ensure our students/young people/the public/everyone is given the correct information so they can have the opportunity to make an informed contribution to this debate and not just be conned into believing what someone else wants them to believe.The other part is a legacy of ongoing HUMANE management of one of Australia's most iconic heritage assets. People should be able to come and see our beautiful alpine region and if they are lucky glance the iconic Brumby running through the trees as Banjo Paterson described. If only everyone was able to believe, as I do, that we are smart enough to have both!
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    • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
      HVBA VP. refer my responses as per to Themba. Re your issue about scientific evidence refer to the listing of 'Degradation and loss of habitats caused by feral Horses (Equus caballus).' by Victorian government as a Potentially Threatening ProcessesThe following processes have been listed as potentially threatening processes in accordance with Section 10 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. - 'Degradation and loss of habitats caused by feral Horses (Equus caballus).'http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/threatened-species-and-communities/flora-and-fauna-guarantee-act-1988/ffg-listed-taxa-communities-and-potentially-threatening-processesUnfortunately they do not have the assessment and determination report as an available on this webpage, because it is an older listing from 2010, but I have seen it in the past and it is detailed. Maybe request one from their weblink or asks parks or admin to source it for you. The point being I do not think they, the government Scientific Advisory Committee add threats even if only potential to this list lightly. It has a rigouros process of scientific assessment before they are added and you will note that some are repealed if found to be unwarranted. See the company that the threat keeps. And before you say 'that is Victoria and we are talking about NSW so its not applicable', we are talking the same bioregion and same ecosystem and species here its just that they're separated by a cadastral man made line on a map. NSW hasn't got their act together and had feral horses listed. Im surprised that it hasn't been really and that there has not been a push from the conservation movement to have it listed under similar legislation in NSW. I don't know maybe there has? I suppose the national alpine bog recovery plan which list horses as a threat, goes someway towards that and will have the same impact. Regardless, listing achieves nothing if it does not solve the social, political, scientific impass that surrounds brumbies. Thats why Victoria are no better off . To keep stalling and asking for further science is just delaying the inevitable and increasing the animal welfare issue that will eventually have to be dealt with for the horses and currently facing our rare native species.
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      • Themba almost 4 years ago
        Sorry but, I don't believe there is any stalling going on here regarding the horses. I am personally very glad that people are questioning what they are being told by scientists and the government on the "damage" being caused by the horses and not just believing it. Saying something in a government document is not the same as it being the truth. I haven't seen one "pro-brumby" post so far that has denied the horses are causing damage in the park but are questioning just how much of the damage being attributed to them is actual fact!What needs to be understood in these forums is that many of the people who live in the area around the park and have done so for years have seen the changes in the park and what it was like years ago and what it is like now and don't believe it has been caused by the horses. Contrary to what has been stated many times on these forums, it is not just the "brumby lovers" or even the "horse lovers" who disagree with shooting as a control method or the total removal of the horses but people who simply believe it is wrong and a very shortsighted view not taking into account what the negative results of such actions will be in the future.
      • HVBA Vice President almost 4 years ago
        Perplexed I would never say this is NSW not Victoria so its not applicable, I understand that they are the same bioregion, I am an environmental scientist too but I also find it interesting that Vic has chosen to list this as a threat and NSW has not. If you do an EPBC search for the area of the KNP, the horses come up as a "feral" species, but there is no mention of them as a threat. I wonder if this is not, as you have said, because the NSW system is in some way inferior, but perhaps because they are not seen as such in NSW. This could be because there is a much larger area for the horses to roam in NSW, yet there is approximately the same number on both sides of the border. Perhaps the NSW population has not reached a level that is deemed threatening for the area that it occupies. If that is the case, this is a great thing, we have now established that so long as we keep the population at or below what it is now, trampling shouldn't get to be a threatening process. Now to find a way to make that happen. There is still hope for those of us that wish to have both horses and a healthy park yet!
    • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
      I wanted to challenge this one:- There has NEVER been an estimate of up to 14000 horses in the alps, and we now know that those 2009 estimates of 13000 were overblown anyway.In https://theaustralianalps.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/2009feralhorsealpssurvey.pdf on page 3 it saysIf the population continues to grow at this rate it will reach over 13 800 horses by 2012,As you have pointed out elsewhere there is an error range on the figures - rounding 13800 up to 14000 is a small change which makes it easier to understand. If you were rounding to the nearest thousand then you would round up.Please remember that Molly gave this talk on about 25th August and the 2014 count figures were released around 9th Sept - so this talk was before the updated figures were available.For reports of damage, have you taken a look at the ones referenced in the 2008 Horse Management Plan?http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/KNPHorseManagementPlanFinal08.pdfIt's got a fairly long list of them... look at p15 and following of the PDF.
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      • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
        Hi Peter_mcc, I am interested, and a bit confused, that you say there has never been an estimate of 14,000 plus your comment that the 2009 estimates of 13,000 were overblown anyway, as it makes me even more interested to know how the 14,000 was arrived at. The 2014 count results would have been known to NPWS before they gave 14,000 to Molly for her talk.All this aside, I feel we would get further by talking of sustainable Brumby numbers, managed by fertility control (for under 200), passive trapping, rehoming to responsible people and euthanizing unwanted Brumbies on site. Wild Horses in sustainable numbers, (i.e.; not effecting the landscape robustness, or ability to seasonally recover), adds to Bio-diversity, reduces wild fire damage and increases landscape robustness. National Parks are for all Australians, as supported under the relevant NP Act. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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        • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
          HiThe quote came from HVBA Vice President - not me. Sorry, this site doesn't allow any formatting in messages which makes it a bit hard to follow sometimes.
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          • Bio-Brumby almost 4 years ago
            Hi Peter_mcc, no probs, just home we can move onto talking sustainable Brumby numbers, not sure about you, but I am getting a bit exhausted seeing opposing points of view. Cheers, Bio-Brumby
  • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
    I'd like to see the KNP being managed so that the environment isn't being damaged more by things that NPWS can control. Where the environment is being damaged by things outside of NPWS control (eg global warming) I would like to see them take "heavier" action against any other contributing factors that they do control.So that means, to me, things like not letting the ski fields expand, not creating new roads, ensuring human waste is properly disposed of at popular places, walking tracks are built/maintained to standards appropriate for their usage and the management of all feral animals.The legacy I'd like to see is the number of feral animals in the park (dogs/pigs/goats/deer/horses/etc) being reduced to a point where they do little further damage. I realise it will not be possible (economically or practically) to eliminate them totally - the park is too big with too many porous borders and money insufficient - so to me the aim is to reduce numbers enough that they are "under control".I know there are feral deer and pigs in the park - I've seen deer and the damage pigs have caused - so they definitely need to be removed. I feel that the current number of horses in the park is too high and the damage that they are causing is not appropriate.
  • RKR almost 4 years ago
    • peter_mcc almost 4 years ago
      I'm not sure your simple petition addresses many of the complex issues in play with the management of the horses in KNP. And I'm not sure that the comments of the petitioners are all that informed.eg: "There is reproductive control for horses by injection that could eliminate just killing the animals. The US and Australia need to invest in this rather than inhumane culling" -> I have not seen any evidence that this is viable on a large scale. Proof please."I love horses and I believe they should be free." -> what about the native animals and ecosystems that the overpopulation of feral horses is causing? Shouldn't they be free too?"I want this barbaric act to stop killing these beautiful innocent creatures" -> What barbaric act that is occurring has to be stopped? "We have the same problem here, leave the horses be, they aren't hurting anything." -> really? This person was from Canada - I doubt they have any idea what is going on in KNP"Why do we insist on so poorly managing wild horse populations? Australia kills them, the U.S. rounds them up and holds them in pens. They are beautiful creatures you should manage carefully and maximize the tourist dollars you would get by having them running wild and free. " -> they are being managed by trapping but it isnt' keeping up with population growth. Apart from HVBA Vice President, nobody seems to have any idea what to do with them if they aren't allowed to reduce numbers via aerial culling."Horses are beautiful animals. " -> so are the threatened native species and ecosystems. Horses are everywhere - the threatened animals/ecosystems are in KNP. I could go on - I'm not sure that your petitioners really have much idea of what is going on apart from their love of horses. Perhaps someone should start a similarly biased petition calling for the feral horses to be totally removed from the park - that's a legacy many people would like to see.
  • Sharlone almost 4 years ago
    The legacy that we should leave for future generations is to maintain the humane treatment of all animals while maintaining the environment within those capabilities. I do not want to see a part of Australia’s history destroyed, when my children, grandchildren & great grandchildren go to the Snowies I would like them to see how beautiful it is & see the wild bush horses roaming free. Realistically, the environment in the Snowies will never be the pristine paradise that it was before the white settlers came. But we need to reach a happy medium for all parties to embrace the environment, Aborginal heritage & the heritage of the white settler which includes the brumby.Although the below links are based in the UK & Europe, it is the same for the brumbies. Click on the link & you may be surprised what else you might learn.Many countries are reintroducing wild horses that they once considered a pest e.g., Re-wilding Europe “For the benefit of nature- Man should leave nature more to do its own job, and that wildlife has a crucially important role to play in that process.” http://www.rewildingeurope.com/publications/rewilding-horses-in-europe “When horses graze for food they don't just eat everything in their path, they pick and choose. Also, different breeds have different eating habits. The uneven eating habits of the horses mean that vegetation of different heights is created. Wild horses are continually on the move, stepping on unwanted growths of vegetation that would otherwise overtake other plants so they can't thrive. Horses aren’t fond of eating flowers either, giving rare wild flowers a chance flourish. As a result, the wild horses keep the land from unwanted overgrowth and provide ideal habitats for birds and other small animals to live.” http://www.isfoundation.com/news/youth/horses-majestic-animals-helping-our-environment
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    • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
      Have no problem reintroducing hard hooved grazers to an ecosystem that evolved with them. Introducing or maintaining them in an ecosystems that did not is counter productive and contributing to their decline.
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      • HVBA Vice President almost 4 years ago
        Do we know that our alpine environment has not evolved since the introduction of the horses, I assume that it would have changed remarkably since that time. I understand evolutionarily speaking 200yrs is like one electron from a drop of water in the ocean, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't changed at all. Just this week it was discovered that a species as large as a lizard can make evolutionary leaps in the space of just 10 years. Fruit flies make evolutionary leaps in the space of months which is why they are so popular with geneticists, and of course, some things take longer, much, much longer. We don't know what has changed, and we don't know what would change if we removed the horses either. The idea of pre-european sounds nice, but do we actually know if that is an appropriate goal for the current landscape. Horses first evolved in America, not Europe, they spread there during one ice age or another when the sea was all frozen, so why does that counts as a landscape that evolved with the horses, but this one does not. How long does an animal have to live in one place before it is deemed that the landscape would have evolved with it.
      • Sharlone almost 4 years ago
        Australia did have larger mammals before humans arrived approximately 48,000-60,000 years ago including the Procoptodon Goliah which had a hoof-like 4th toe on the hind limbs.It is theorised that human involvement contributed along with aridity to cause extinction of Australia's megafauna. For approximately 200 years Australia has been home to the brumby & the environment would have evolved in this time, to completely eradicate them now may do even more damage.
  • Khankhan almost 4 years ago
    Sorry Themba the issue we are discussing is as per line 1 on this page 'The Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park is currently being reviewed and your input will help shape the next plan.' . Every other item under Key Documents and Information Sheets refer to 'KNP Horse Management Plan, Aerial Survey of feral horses ..., The impacts of wild horses on the Snowies, The urgent need for horse control .....' If we don't remove large numbers of feral horses (yes, thousands of them) soon, we will not have a park with the values, flora and fauna for future generations. Horses can be maintained and bred off-park (Guy Fawkes, Coffin Bay, New Zealand). The document below states that country like Kosciuszko has a small geographic distribution when you are looking Australia-wide and its integrity is 'coupled with demonstrable threats'. Yes horses, and other feral animals, fire, climate change, pathogens and diseases, introduced flora, recreation and infrastructure.Thanks to Perplexed for entering the debate and for providing the link to the Commonwealth Government's draft Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens ecological community National Recovery Plan, dated August 2014 (note how recent it is) http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/9cc1f452-9121-44e1-aa88-80939c14d404/files/draft-recovery-plan-alpine-sphagnum-bogs.pdf First up, the Introduction of that document under the legislative context states the national status of these ecological communities: 'The Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens ecological community was listed as endangered under the EPBC Act in January 2009, due to:. its small geographic distribution coupled with demonstrable threats,. the continued decline of functionally important species, and. the severe reduction in community integrity across its range.Listing under national legislation means that any new or intensified activities that may have a significant impact on the ecological community may require referral and approval under the EPBC Act.'As the very perceptive Molly noted (who did speak to a local pro-brumby woman referred to through 'she said') the Corroboree frog is listed as threatened fauna found in these ecological communities. The Draft Commonwealth document also notes that 'wallowing, grazing and trampling from feral horses, pigs and deer' contribute to the pressure for survival of those ecological communities. This is followed by Key Threats: Feral Horses!!! 'Feral horse populations in NSW and Victoria have been increasing at a rate that has outpaced active management'.Fellow readers and participants of this forum, I urge you to read the draft National Recovery Plan.
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    • HVBA Vice President almost 4 years ago
      Hi Khankhan,Thankyou for putting up this research, it is a fascinating read! Here is my analysis of the situation after reading this paper.Unfortunately the matrices for the risk assessment were not available, but these researchers have somehow determined that Climate Change, Fire, Grazing and trampling from domestic stock, woody weeds, pathogens and disease, water infrastructure, peat and sphagnum harvesting and, of course, feral horses are all threats that are considered to have a national severity rating of very high (not exactly sure what this means, but it sounds bad). Which is great, we now have some research that talks about some specific damage that the horses are doing, even if it provides no specific evidence of that damage (Dr Worboys blog that he posted on his website after a quick camping trip doesn't count as scientific evidence anymore than my diary does), but I will ignore that for now, because I think this is somewhere this wild horse management plan could start. We can try to get them out of the areas that contain these communities. According to this research "The Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens ecological community is typically found in alpine, sub-alpine and montane (mountainous, or of higher elevation) environments, often above the climatic treeline and also in frost-prone valleys." Which is great, because I believe the horses mostly stay below the treeline (someone correct me if I'm wrong here, I just remember it being discussed that people were concerned that they might have started to move above the treeline recently) so at least that part of the community isn't yet under threat of trampling by the horses. This means we should focus on keeping the horses below the treeline (where they currently are) and out of "frost prone valleys". Now we have an objective to work towards and thankfully we now know that Dawson's prediction was incorrect, so the threat is smaller predicted. What I can’t understand is why people are suddenly calling for aerial culling to be implemented immediately because the treat is apparently so dire, that we cannot afford to wait any longer, and hence this inhumane approach should be used because, even though it is inhumane, it is quick.Unfortunately even if we shot all the horses in the KNP, these threatened communities still have to worry about fire, climate change, deer, pigs, rabbits, goats, foxes, cats, trout, willow, domestic stock (including cattle), orange hawkweed, ox-eye daisy, juncus effusus, Musk Monkey Flower, Timothy Grass, Sweet Vernal-Grass, Yorkshire Fog, Cat’s Ear, infrastructure associated with tourism, ski resort developments, associated roadworks, dams required for the production of hydro-electricity, other dams and aqueducts, bushwalkers, timber harvesting, groundwater extraction. I think, when there are so many threats, and particularly so many threats that do not require another animal to suffer in order to contain them, we can at least take the time to create a plan that humanely achieves the desired objective.
    • Themba almost 4 years ago
      And this forum is focused on "What legacy do you think we should leave for future generations" . To my mind and reading the introduction to this forum, this is not just about the horses or any other animal in the park but is a more broader subject. Line 1 on this page is talking about the subject of the presentation, not the subject of this forum. There are other forums here where you can make whatever claims you like about the horses and it will be responded to as it already has been many times already so far. My point is, let this forum stand on its own merits, regardless of the horses and simply answer the question posed without the constant, the horses are doing this, the horses are doing that.
  • HVBA Vice President almost 4 years ago
    Removed by moderator.
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    • Donna almost 4 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, it's saved me watching what I already suspected was a highly biased and contrived video, designed of course to illustrate how 'even' our youth have more foresight than those of us fighting for the brumby. Such a pity that foresight is hand fed to them via an agenda they're not even old enough to recognise! The decision to USE this child in this campaign is appalling to say the least, but I think the scariest part of it all is that she was addressing other students, children who will also believe such nonsense without question. How abysmal for parks to try and colour the perspective of our youth in such a dark way.
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      • Perplexed almost 4 years ago
        Seeing as Admin has not acted. Refer to comment above for HVBA VP. Same goes for Themba. I am disappointed!
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        • Donna almost 4 years ago
          There is nothing disrespectful nor against moderation guidelines in my comment Perplexed. As with the HVBA VP, I am expressing my personal view, which as can be seen from your comments, is something we're all entitled to do.