What other things do you think NPWS should consider in its review of the plan? Have you learnt anything about the issue that you did not already know?

by Catherine Russell, about 3 years ago
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Over the past five months a number of additional things have been put forward for NPWS to consider as part of the review of the plan. Do you have any additional things you would like to see reflected or addressed in the new plan? 


Perplexed about 3 years ago
I've learnt of the ridiculous situation that our US cousins are in regarding this same issue:'Pastured 'wild' horses to cost U.S. $1 billion by 2030, researchers warn in report'.http://news.ufl.edu/archive/2013/08/pastured-wild-horses-to-cost-us-1-billion-by-2030-researchers-warn-in-report.htmlWe tend to think following the US is always a good model in most things. NPWS and our governments need to ensure we don't end up with a similar situation here with the issue hijacked by the horse and animal liberation lobby to the point of ridiculousness. Our tax payer money should be better spent on real conservation outcomes. An acceptable approach to reducing this horse population quickly which is humane, effective and efficient is already available, and I am not talking fertility control, and hoping that it is going to solve the problem as they have. If fertility control was so effective why has it failed so far for them, where obviously money and resources is not an issue???
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Khankhan about 3 years ago
Perplexed, I agree and the push to protect feral horses here is very much trying to align protection through legislation on the American model. It hasn't worked and now the American taxpayer is saddled (pardon the pun) with ever increasing maintenance costs and only the ineffectual offers of sterilisation (and the animals live on for 20 or more years). So sad, when people want feral horses protected in our national parks, and we can't even recognise our Indigenous Australians in the Constitution. Incidently the five tribes of KNP didn't use horses when they lived on country. Yet it was non-Aboriginal people, riding horses, that dispossessed them.In the US 'The National Research Council committee Garrott and Oli served on concluded that if horse populations are left unmanaged, the number of horses on public lands will triple about every six years until eventually, food and water supplies are thin.' Even with sterilisation, the population increase is only HALVED. That means that numbers are still increasing. Claims that sterilisation by darting, offer no evidence that under conditions in our national parks they would be any better than the 50% success rate quoted in the US, where the greater number of horses are actually in paddocks!'The wild horse population has been growing at an annual rate of between 15 and 20 percent, Oli said.“If current management approaches continue, there will be very little money left in the BLM wild horse and burro budget to do anything else but care for horses in captivity,” Oli said. “Rounding them up is pretty expensive, and at some point, nearly all of the budget would be consumed by horses in captivity. It will just be totally unsustainable to continue business as usual.”'Let us not follow the American way, and further information on American Burrough Legislation and outcomes would help people to understand how quickly the problem got out of hand. The longer they and we let this increase in feral horses continue, the harder it gets to manage the problem and the more it costs (in terms of dollars, resources and rehabilitation required).The general public needs to be made aware of the critical difference between horses in the USA and Australia. They are not native to Australia.
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Donna about 3 years ago
None of the pro brumby people on this site have endorsed "following the US model" in anyway whatsoever, quite the opposite actually. We've suggested leaving the horses free roaming as they are whilst trialling fertility control, which would inevitably see completely different results to the US. As would the BLM using funds to correctly manage the horses on their home ranges as opposed to locking them up indefinitely until they either dye or are adopted; this has little to do with "BLM budget" as you've said, but much to do with the fact that Ranchers in the US pay a great deal for the rights to us BLM land for grazing cattle - this is in direct contravention to the Wild Horse & Burro Act, not in line with it. Sadly, there are not nearly as many free roaming horses on land in the US, on public lands or otherwise, than there are in 'captivity' awaiting either death or a second chance at life. Oddly enough, the same can be said for the BLM in the states as it can for many of the Land Councils here in our own country; their purpose is to serve those they represent, their actions and intent however tell a very different story. There is quite simply more money to be made leasing land out to pastoralist's than there is in listening to either the Indigenous owners of the land, or the public. Certainly, if horses were left to roam free the BLM wouldn't be able to complain that food and water supplies are running out, would they? The horses would fend for themselves as nature intended and a balance would be the result. But of course, that won't ever be allowed because to do so means the coffers are not nearly as full as they are when you're claiming to care for thousands of horses in captivity but in reality, caring less.Australia would be a very sparsely populated land indeed, should only natives be allowed to live here. With all due respect, I find the inclusion of white/indigenous differences and dispossession confusing - I imagine indigenous peoples had little need for ski resorts in KNP either, and yet apparently they're a perfectly acceptable addition to the landscape. We can no more go back to the way things were pre European settlement than we can erase all the wrongs committed against Indigenous Australians; we must adapt and move forward into the future - I for one want a future that will see brumbies remain in KNP.
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Khankhan about 3 years ago
I’m asking Donna and her colleagues why they are not considering purchasing off-park land to run these horses. They will be able to control or not control breeding as they see fit, and provide appropriate veterinary and other care. As I have said before many other interest groups buy their own properties – 4WD, ornathologists, environmentalists, artists, even horse people for the Coffin Bay ponies and Guy Fawkes horses.An epic story, the Blue Gum Forest, Acacia Flat, Grosse Valley in the Blue Mountains which shows what can be done. In 1931, a group of Sydney bushwalkers visited what is now known as the Blue Gum Forest, to discover the lessee proposed to ringbark the stand of magnificant trees and to burnt it to graze cattle and grow walnuts. The lessee was a savvy person and not easily pursuaded, but eventually the bushwalkers were able to reach an agreement to save the forest, contracting to pay 130 pounds, with a 25 pound deposit with the remainder to be paid before the end of the year.. Remember 1931 was in the heart of the Depression and the bushwalkers were young people. No one had money then. A committee was formed and all efforts made to raise the money, but it looked pretty hopeless. Eventually the deposit was raised, other donations made and a benefactor WJ Cleary loaned them 80 pounds. The Blue Gum Forest at Acacia Flat was saved. The Department of Lands revoked the Conditional Purchase Lease, eventually reserving the block for public recreation. Some 30 years later, in 1961, the land was absorbed into the newly created Blue Mountains National Park. And yes, the 80 pound loan was paid back to CJ Cleary within the two year period required. http://www.greenaissance.com/html/blue-gum-history.htm And another moral to the story, the bushwalkers purchased the land for 'public use' not just for their own interests!If this be achieved during the Depression, surely it is well within the realm of horse groups today to combine resources to do the same, and stop demanding that national parks become parks for feral horses at high cost to the environment, NPWS resources and the public purse.
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Donna about 3 years ago
A good story Khankhan. However, I have to say your argument is highly flawed in your final comment; there are no special interest groups demanding that "national parks become parks for feral horses". There are however many passionate, determined, environmentally aware horse advocates asking for a better solution for the horses who called this area their home long before it became a national park. As such a vocal advocate for indigenous land rights and dispossession, I should hope you could appreciate how they might feel.
Bio-Brumby about 3 years ago
Hi khankhan,Wild horses had a place to live in but it became KNP. Any alternative area would need to be similar sized area and environment. BUT how can we be sure that a new Brumby designated area, even if purchased by donations, may not one day in the future again be re-classified a national park - then the same issue starts again. To maintain the qualities a wild horse has evolved/reverted to are through the harsh lessons of survival of the fittest are complicated to mimic in wild horse private reserves because us humans can't help but step in. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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Khankhan about 3 years ago
Bio-Brumby and Donna, are you suggesting we go back to the pre KNP days, where there were very few feral horses and traditional methods were used to control numbers, ie roping and shooting for dog food? I gather there are some in your groups, ie HVBA Vice President, who certainly wouldn’t agree that either method is humane. The hypothesis of returning to the horse numbers pre KNP days, say in the hundreds of horses, could well be a ideal target to achieve for management purposes. One of the Information Sheets says that in the early 1800s there were ONLY 3,500 wild horses across the WHOLE of Australia, so perhaps hundreds would not be an unreasonable base line to work to.Furthermore I am somewhat overwhelmed by your response as to why horse groups can’t consider purchasing their own land. Your response: ‘Any alternative area would need to be similar sized area and environment’ (sic to KNP) leaves many of us wondering. To set your sights on the whole of Kosciuszko for the free-roaming of feral horses and that nothing less is acceptable says a lot for your attitude to the protection of natural areas, their primary purpose and to the NSW taxpayer.Bio-Brumbie’s claim that if the pro-horse people purchased land for the feral horses, it may ‘one day in the future again be re-classified a national park’. This would occur ONLY and ONLY IF the pro-horse purchasers donated it to the national parks estate, as did the Bushwalkers with the Blue Gum Forest. Not likely.Does this mean that you will not and have not considered the horse exclusion areas outlined in the 2006 Plan of Management. Namely:- Main Range Management Unit- Yarrangobilly Management Unit- Coolemon Plain Management Unit- Safety risk areas such as highways- Areas of the park where horses have not been or have only recently been recorded- Areas of the park adjoining other Australian Alps national parks and reserves- Feeder areas for all these parts of the park. There are now feral horses in each of the above exclusion areas, including in the Main Range Alpine Area. Just walk outside the Top Station at Thredbo to see their dung (and no, its not deer dung or deer hoof prints it is feral horse dung and feral horse hoof prints).I would also question why you and your associates have engaged NPWS and the NSW taxpayer in a long-term fruitless engagement process, the latest round of which has been operating for > 18 months. It would be easy to believe your groups of pro-horse people never had any intention of moving from the status quo. Those groups have always desired increasing feral horses numbers for your feel good heritage purposes and the opportunity for brumby running.
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Bio-Brumby about 3 years ago
Hi Khankhan, I’m having difficulty following your response threads, will respond in point form to make it easier, maybe I was not clear enough in my comments above.1. I suggested horses live in the same SIZE area they currently have, not continue in the exact KNP locations, and not in extra sensitive KNP. Wild horses currently live in 30-50% of the park according to info on this chat site. 2. Agree horses need to be excluded from extra sensitive areas by, i.e. fencing and by managing populations to SUSTAINABLE levels for defined areas, using science based cause & effect studies. 3. My reference above to pre-KNP days was that; the push to remove horses only started after the area was declared a NP. 4. I suggest NPWS management could develop control partnerships with local, skilled KNP communities, and as has been widely canvassed in other chat conversations, ensure rigorous, humane standards are in adhered to.5. I am disappointed you suggest I am uncaring towards the need to protect more sensitive native flora/fauna; (see also your list of specific areas) WHEN I consistently state wild horses in KNP need to be managed to SUSTAINABLE levels, i.e. meaning they environment can robustly respond to seasonal impact/recovery cycle.6. As before; my understanding of NPWS Act’s primary purpose is to balance the two intentions of the Act; to protect native flora, fauna & landscapes etc. with Aboriginal and post-settlement heritage values in a sustainable way.7. There are many examples of communities that have managed community land for centuries, only to have the rules changed. Better to work this one out for KNP now, not create a whole new process, in my view.8. I don't understand why you say I and "my associates" have "engaged NPWS and the NSW taxpayer in a long-term fruitless engagement process, the latest round of which has been operating for over 18 months" - maybe you explain this further? 9. I also don't understand your words “ would be easy to believe your groups of pro-horse people never had any intention of moving from the status quo” and that pro-horse people “have always desired increasing feral horses numbers for your feel good heritage purposes and the opportunity for brumby running”. It may help if you give examples of such comments on this chat website?10. I feel frustrated that on the last “chat site” day, accusation are made that those valuing horses in KNP, only want to; a. Have horse numbers increase, b. Expand horses to live in all parts of KNP, c. Do not want to protect native flora/fauna, when we have repeatedly said on this chat site we support managing future horse populations in sustainable numbers i.e. so land can robustly cope with impact/recovery cycles with the number of horses living on it. I suggest you re-read my comments on “What resonates with you” and “Why have national parks”, as I feel, at this stage; they give the context of where I am trying to come from. Regards, Bio-Brumby
Donna about 3 years ago
I'm lost as to the actual question you're asking Khankhan, aside from whether I personally would like a return to pre KNP days, so I'll just answer that one. No, of course not. I don't believe I've advocated any such thing. I do believe we should maintain a free roaming sustainable population of brumbies in what is now known as KNP, their original home.As to your last comment I'd just like to say again I personally have not "engaged NPWS and the NSW taxpayer in a long-term fruitless engagement process" and I have no "associates". I believe you'll find most people on here can be categorised as one of the NSW taxpayers footing the bill for this consultation and to say I'm disappointed in the apparent outcome would be a gross understatement. I also believe you'll find that whether or not anyone in particular "engaged" NPWS is a moot point; they are bound by their own legislation to perform this consultation.
Bio-Brumby about 3 years ago
Hi Perplexed & Khankhan,I agree that the way USA is managing Mustang populations by round-up and transporting Mustangs to holding centres that are increasingly running out of space is not the way Australia should go.My preference is to legislate Brumby Heritage protection, then implement management options that humanely remove overabundant Brumbies, to either people able to gentle and rehome them, or euthanize on site. The major difference in America is that USA will not allow horses (wild or domestic) to be sent to USA abattoirs (so life is worse because they are trucked long distances to neighbouring country abattoirs. Unwanted horses (domestic or Brumbies unable to be rehomed), sad as it is, should be euthanized, not left unwanted with no quality of life. Regards, Bio-Brumby
WildHorseEcology about 3 years ago
Your assertions and claims are incorrect. Fertility has not failed for the U.S. because it has not been employed by the BLM until recently and not across a broad spectrum and more importantly, money and resources is an issue because the Federal Government has cut spending to the BLM and big business has taken over influence to frack public lands set aside for the legal protection of wild horses in the U.S. and the laws are being circumvented. What is ridiculous is asserting knowledge of something you are unfamiliar with.
HVBA Vice President about 3 years ago
You are correct Perplexed, we absolutely cannot allow what has happened in the USA to happen here. No-one on the pro-brumby side would ever call for our horses to be treated this way. We understand the concept of a fate worse than death, and we will not allow it. All we are asking for is humane management of the snowy mountain Brumbies, is that too much to ask...
Themba about 3 years ago
I think NSWP should consider the benefits of the horses, whether it is the tourism side or the conservation side or preferable both (what plants and/or animals do the horses assist to survive in the park). I don't believe these items have been looked into by parks and have been overshadowed by the people calling for all-out eradication, and I think they need to be investigated before any decision is made. I know some people will say this is stalling tactics but, I love the park, it has been a huge part of my life for a long time and I don't want to see mistakes made with it's management and the park destroyed for future generations.I think NSWP should look at the tourism value of the horses to increase the amount of funding available to support passive trapping and re-homing. For instance, the current Museum exhibition "Spirited" had a competition for people to win a trip to see the exhibition and included a trip to the snowy mountains to hopefully see the brumbies. Perhaps NSWP could look into being involved in these types of tourism adverts for the area which would increase revenue for the park and the surrounding areas. Parks have a marketable commodity in the brumbies, so why not use it to advantage and increase the re-homing rate.I have to say that I have learn't much more about fertility control than I ever considered and have come to believe it is a viable option. If they can use it successfully in other countries then why not here in Australia. From what I have read it is a non invasive and effective way to control population growth. It would also mean that if there was a population crash that the control method could be reduce enough to provide a viable population to prevent in-breeding. It is also a method of control that I believe most people could live with.
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Mbidgee about 3 years ago
I think we should never consider the benefits of an introduced animal to a national park. The prime reason for a park is conservation, and conservation of all native communities and species is not possible while large numbers of a pest with a high impact is present in the park. If feral horses have a tourism potential, let private industry exploit that opportunity on private land. I don't see why fertility is still being suggested as a control measure: a quick examination of the costs and effectiveness will show how useless a method it would be to reduce horse numbers.
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Bio-Brumby about 3 years ago
Hi Mbidgee,Fertility control is still being suggested because, contrary to your quick review it has been used in the USA for over 30 years to successfully control smaller, isolated horse populations. These days it can be delivered to larger populations of up to 700. The vaccine is applied by dartgun. The darts contain a paint pellet. When the dart hits the horse, a tiny explosive charge goes off, injecting the fertility control into the horse, ejecting the dart (this is important for welfare reasons) and marking their coat with a paint that is water resistant. Each vaccine costs $35.00 and is administered to free roaming horses, so no hands on contact and no $1074 trap cost. At present the vaccine lasts 2-3 years. The number of mares selected to have the vaccine every 2-3 years will vary depending on the modelling design used to reach a population target. Mares are targeted as that is the only way to limit the foaling rate (once again it is the female of the species to take responsibility). At present fertility control for KNP would be used to complement the trap program and reduce trap costs, however as this science progresses, it could one day be the only control method needed in KNP. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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Themba about 3 years ago
And, like I said, I continue to learn much more about fertility control than I even considered and now firmly believe it is a viable option for population control. Thanks Bio-Brumby it is really good to find out just how much the vaccine costs and how it is delivered.
Themba about 3 years ago
Mbidgee, I find it really strange that you are not even interested in the benefits of introduced animals in the park. Would you rather see the park run down by the removal of the introduced species than acknowledge that they do provide benefits and are possibly allowing some native species to survive in an increasingly human dominated environment? Do you not see how parks could utilise the tourism appeal of the horses to generate income to improve the park? I would be interested to know how your "quick examination of costs and effectiveness" of fertility control was undertaken?
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Mbidgee about 3 years ago
In parks and conservation reserves across the world, introduced species are removed to maintain the natural biodiversity. In NSW parks, there are programs to remove many species of weeds and pest animals such as pigs, foxes, goats, rabbits, deer and horses (just to name the big ones). No where have I seen any conservation scientist suggest that "the park [would be] run down by the removal of the introduced species" and while a few native species may be surviving better in Kosciuszko because horses are present, there are many species not surviving as well because horse are there, grazing and trampling fragile areas. As for fertility control as population control method: It may be that "it has been used in the USA for over 30 years to successfully control smaller, isolated horse populations" but that is not the situation in the Australian Alps. There are as yet no small populations, and no populations yet of 700. I do not know of any population that is isolated: horses occur across vast areas of high country in Victoria and NSW, in national parks and adjoining properties. Horses are also entering the high country in the ACT.At present the problem is the damage to the environment in Kosciuszko from too many horses. The population needs to be reduced rapidly to a smaller number. From comments by Bio-Brumby, the mares are the ones selected for treatment. Even if fertility contol darts could be administered to 2,000 mares (a possible estimate of breeding aged mares in a population somewhere around 6,000 horses) these mares will continue to eat plants and trample bogs for the next 5-10+ years. The breeding rate of the whole population will decline a small amount, and the numbers will reduce, but very slowly. Each year, more mares could be treated. The paint mark adminstered with the dart is unlikely to last for more than a year sufficiently for the horse to be identified in the field, with weather effects, horses rubbing on trees and hair renewal. So if another 1,000 mares were treated the following year, its likely that some would get darted again, and that is a wasted dart, and the cost of effectively treating a mare increases.Meanwhile, horse populations are mobile, and horses will move in from adjoining areas, and some horse will move out of the park. This will mean that there is an increasing number of breeding mares in the park.If the population was quickly and effectively reduced over a few years by aerial shooting, there might be only 700 horses left in Kosciuszko (roughly around 10% of current estimates of population). This may be a small population, but it is not isolated: it will still be subject to immigration /emigration outside the park and into Victoria. It is likely that this small population would be scattered. At low density the cost to administer fertility control darts rises rapidly. The cost of the actual dart may be only $35, but the major part of the cost is finding the horse first. The only way to cover a lot of rough country rapidly is by helicopter, and searching large areas to find a small number of animals would be expensive.Of course, to search those areas to find animals would be the same cost if they were being shot, but at least then the horse is dead and not damaging the natural environment for the next few years.I could go on, but the problem to be solved is the damage caused by large numbers of horses, and the only solution is the rapid reduction of the population. Fertility control will not do this when the numbers are large. When the numbers of horses are small, and the population isolated, fertility control may be effective in limiting numbers, but these conditions will not occur in Kosciuszko. The most effective way to reduce large numbers maintain small populations will still be aerial shooting or any other lethal method that removes the animal once it is located.
Jindygal about 3 years ago
What are the benefits of feral animals in national parks? Tourism can be done outside the park, benefiting the local communities if they are enterprising enough to take the opportunity.
Jindygal about 3 years ago
I don't want the park destroyed for future generations either. Allowing feral animals to predominate in the park is destroying its natural values.As far as tourism goes, there is a great potential for surrounding property holders to manage horse populations in off-park ventures. It isn't the role of a national park to provide a venue to view feral animals.
coastwatcher about 3 years ago
NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE ACT 1974 - SECT 2AI am also at loss to understand why considering the benefits of introduced animals fits into the objects of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974Objects of Act2A Objects of Act(1) The objects of this Act are as follows:(a) the conservation of nature, including, but not limited to, the conservation of:(i) habitat, ecosystems and ecosystem processes, and(ii) biological diversity at the community, species and genetic levels, and(iii) landforms of significance, including geological features and processes, and(iv) landscapes and natural features of significance including wilderness and wild rivers,(b) the conservation of objects, places or features (including biological diversity) of cultural value within the landscape, including, but not limited to:(i) places, objects and features of significance to Aboriginal people, and(ii) places of social value to the people of New South Wales, and(iii) places of historic, architectural or scientific significance,(c) fostering public appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of nature and cultural heritage and their conservation,(d) providing for the management of land reserved under this Act in accordance with the management principles applicable for each type of reservation.(2) The objects of this Act are to be achieved by applying the principles of ecologically sustainable development.(3) In carrying out functions under this Act, the Minister, the Director-General and the Service are to give effect to the following:(a) the objects of this Act,(b) the public interest in the protection of the values for which land is reserved under this Act and the appropriate management of those lands.
Bio-Brumby about 3 years ago
I have learnt several things during this on line chat, such as;.. We all have far more in common with our love for KNP values than differences... We waste time anyone talks of their concerns if horse populations are not managed, since the purpose of this chat room discussion is how to manage horse populations in KNP.... Management options are more likely to succeed when different values, while respected, can meld together to find new management options that our differences can build on. .. Participants who value wild horses in KNP can discuss sustainable population options, but others seem unable to progress beyond projecting fears of ‘what if horse numbers increase’. It is my hope that opposing views will meld better when those who project ‘what if numbers increase’ begin to identify ways to manage SUSTAINABLE horse numbers living in KNP. Participants who value horses in KNP are not saying there should be NO management, we may like the ideal of no management, but realise that option is impractical - We now voice and promote sustainable horse populations in KNP, we have moved goalposts, when will this be recognised by others. Regards, Bio-Brumby
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Jindygal about 3 years ago
What about sustainable native species? Can you guarantee that your sustainable horse population won't cause any detriment to any native species? When you can absolutely guarantee that, then you have a case. Not before.
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HVBA Vice President about 3 years ago
Can you absolutely guarantee that NO horse will suffer during aerial culling? When you can absolutely guarantee that, then you have a case. Not before.Can you absolutely guarantee that a SUSTAINABLE horse population will cause ANY detriment to ANY native species?When you can absolutely guarantee that, then you have a case. Not before.Can you absolutely guarantee that NO native species will disappear if the horses do? When you can absolutely guarantee that, then you have a case. Not before.I could go on, but this is just ridiculous and completely unhelpful. Lets be adults about it and discuss the topic without getting in to a "I know you are but what am I" situation.
Khankhan about 3 years ago
I have learned a great deal from a young Ph.D student, social historian and equine enthusiast who updates her blog on a regular basis. Her topic relates to what is a critical examination of the horse in Australia. Her perception and sharpness continue to impress me.She has encapsulated the opposition, particularly the local opposition, to the culling of feral horses as 'an anxiety of belonging'. Her blog of 16 July 2014 is titled 'The True History of the Stockman: cattlemen, horses, and Aboriginal disposession in Australia' https://horsesfordiscourses.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/the-true-history-of-the-stockman-cattlemen-horses-and-aboriginal-disposession-in-australia/ It is well worth a read.'.. we can see how the Authorised Heritage Discourse has shaped perceptions of the brumby; the reference to ‘history’ pertains only to a white, Anglo-European heritage, yet it is integral to understanding what lies at the heart of the conflict – that is, an anxiety of belonging.This debate revolves around fundamental issues of who the land is for, and how it can be used. The role played by the horse here is ironic, echoing its part in the initial dispossession of the land from the original inhabitants.It seems that, in tracing the hoof-print of the horse in Australia, we also trace the imprints of belonging; in the colonial era, the horse was integral to the dispossession of the Aboriginal inhabitants, while its later expulsion from the Edenic wilderness signals the pang of dispossession among Anglo-Europeans.'
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Bio-Brumby about 3 years ago
Hi Khankhan,Thanks for the link - interesting approach but one I see as a blame shifting exercise. As I read the link blog, if it were not for the horse the initial dispossession of the land from its original inhabitants would not have occurred. Maybe horses WITHOUT riders would have reversed history by working for Aboriginal inhabitants and causing the dispossession of Europeans instead?The horse on its own is a noble animal, it does not need a celebrity rider to make this point, maybe we could take the approach differently again and blame the ships that brought horses and Europeans over? Hmmm … then again maybe I have been on this chat room too long ………Best wishes, Bio-Brumby
WildHorseEcology about 3 years ago
Reserve Design which is a sub discipline of conservation biology can be carried out to allow nature to work. This would include natural and artificial boundaries and buffer zones , some semi-permeable and thus allowing the horse to fill its ecological niche and where necessary, establish wild horse sanctuaries. A full complement of plant and animal species should be allowed through this process and auto regulation will occur in this climax species if we humans let it. Equids are members of the 'climax successional sere' or stage and do not expand out of control to destroy their habitat and themselves. Conservation biologists who have studied the wild horse as opposed to those who have not, understand the world over that as resources become limiting, physiological and social responses result in decreased reproduction in any given mob or herd. When allowed to integrate into wilderness, the individual life histories of wild equids come to reflect natural oscillations such as annual seasons and more long-term cycles. This they do along with the plants and animals that share their habitat and they harmoniously blend over time. They are true to their keystone role in dispersing their grazing and browsing activity over broad areas as semi-nomads and can become the harvesters and renewers by cropping dry coarser vegetation and reducing fires and thereby increasing the productivity of the land per scientific studies on ecosystem recovery.
Stromlo about 3 years ago
That the park encourages more human beings and the associated commercial interests to use the parks and then targets horses as the main scapegoat for all perceived impacts on the environment is misplaced, overemphasised and ultimately will not solve anything.Human beings have to take responsibility for their actions. Every single so call “pest” is here because of us. We can put a man on the moon and spend squillions on having the best swimmer in the Olympics but there is no political will to put a fraction of those costs to humane management of over abundant species.All that happens is a never ending cycle of shoot, think the problem is solved and guess what? It is soon time to shoot again. Aerial culling is not just barbaric – it is pointless. There is always a part of the targeted populations that does not get shot, does not take the bait and then “compensatory reproduction” takes over where the rate of reproduction increases. Generally all species do a pretty good job of self-limiting their populations. But humans have come to so micromanage nature and think they know best that we freak when one species declines while another has a healthy rise. These cycles are natural and have happened over millennia. As are extinctions. Species who cannot adapt to change will inevitably lose out. You can argue that horses are causing this but I would wager that if you took humans off the earth and left the horses all would be well.Horses have arguably been the most important species to man. Only in the very recent history of man and horse has technology overtaken their role in the military, transport, agriculture, exploration, law enforcement and a myriad of other things (Melbourne Cup and Sleigh Rides also come to mind). In many places in the world these roles are still reliant on horses.Human beings have domesticated horses and taken away THEIR HABITAT over centuries. In Australia and elsewhere in the world, humans have then abandoned many horses that were no longer required of them. They deserve more.To the Colong Foundation, I say “THE PROBLEM IS US! Stop blaming horses and use your resources lobby government to spend more money on humane and human management!”
HVBA Vice President about 3 years ago
I think NSWP needs to consider adding enough flexibility into the plan to deal with unexpected changes to the population and the region. So that if a bushfire happened and the populations gets halved again, then they can adapt the management methods to control the changed population. I think that must have been a difficult thing after 2003, because you didn't know how the population was going to respond, but now we do, so lets use that knowledge to create contingencies for similar situations. There is no point setting traps at long plain if the entire region is black dust after a bush fire without a horse in sight, however, perhaps that would need to change if the green pick started to come through and the population in that region began to explode. If there is a population explosion, or a population decimation, the management strategy needs to be able to change to suit the new conditions.