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Protecting the Snowies

While the initial stage of consultation on developing a wild horse management plan for Kosciuszko National Park is now closed, the materials and conversation remain online for you to review. Extensive community and stakeholder engagement, advice from the Independent Technical Reference Group, assessment of the heritage and social significance of wild horses in the park, and review of past wild horse management programs all helped shape the draft plan which is currently on public exhibition until 19 August 2016. To have your say on the draft plan go to Kosciuszko National Park Draft Wild Horse Management Plan – public consultation.

Join the conversation
Share your story
Host a kitchen table discussion
Explore the history
Take the survey
Download info sheets
Ask a question
View videos from 21c Town Hall Meeting

While the initial stage of consultation on developing a wild horse management plan for Kosciuszko National Park is now closed, the materials and conversation remain online for you to review. Extensive community and stakeholder engagement, advice from the Independent Technical Reference Group, assessment of the heritage and social significance of wild horses in the park, and review of past wild horse management programs all helped shape the draft plan which is currently on public exhibition until 19 August 2016. To have your say on the draft plan go to Kosciuszko National Park Draft Wild Horse Management Plan – public consultation.

Join the conversation
Share your story
Host a kitchen table discussion
Explore the history
Take the survey
Download info sheets
Ask a question
View videos from 21c Town Hall Meeting
  • Kosciuszko Wild Horse Management Plan: Independent Technical Reference Group 2014–15

    over 2 years ago


    The Independent Technical Reference Group of the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management Plan will provide independent and rigorous scientific and technical advice to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on the management of wild horses within Kosciuszko National Park. The group comprises an independent Chair and a Deputy Chair. The Deputy Chair will assist the Chair and fulfil the Chair role for any meetings the Chair is not able to attend.

    The group was appointed in November 2014 and comprises:

    • Dr Mark Lonsdale, Honorary Professorial Fellow, Charles Darwin University and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University
    • Dr Bidda Jones, Chief Scientist, RSPCA Australia, Honorary Associate, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney
    • Professor Geoffrey Hope, Emeritus Professor, Department of Archaeology and Natural History, School of History, Language and Culture, College of Asia and Pacific, The Australian National University
    • Dr Sara Beavis, Senior Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
    • Professor Elissa Cameron, Professor, Wildlife Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania
    • Professor Alan Welsh, FAA Mathematical Science Institute, Australian National University
    • Official observer pending appointment: Professor Reuben Rose, Professor, Australian veterinary educator and a former Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney.
    • Official observer pending appointment: Dr. Glen Saunders, Visiting Scientist, NSW Department of Primary Industries (Previously Director Invasive Plants & Animals, Vertebrate Pest Research, Department of Primary Industries).


    The Independent Technical Reference Group of the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management Plan will provide independent and rigorous scientific and technical advice to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on the management of wild horses within Kosciuszko National Park. The group comprises an independent Chair and a Deputy Chair. The Deputy Chair will assist the Chair and fulfil the Chair role for any meetings the Chair is not able to attend.

    The group was appointed in November 2014 and comprises:

    • Dr Mark Lonsdale, Honorary Professorial Fellow, Charles Darwin University and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University
    • Dr Bidda Jones, Chief Scientist, RSPCA Australia, Honorary Associate, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney
    • Professor Geoffrey Hope, Emeritus Professor, Department of Archaeology and Natural History, School of History, Language and Culture, College of Asia and Pacific, The Australian National University
    • Dr Sara Beavis, Senior Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
    • Professor Elissa Cameron, Professor, Wildlife Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania
    • Professor Alan Welsh, FAA Mathematical Science Institute, Australian National University
    • Official observer pending appointment: Professor Reuben Rose, Professor, Australian veterinary educator and a former Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney.
    • Official observer pending appointment: Dr. Glen Saunders, Visiting Scientist, NSW Department of Primary Industries (Previously Director Invasive Plants & Animals, Vertebrate Pest Research, Department of Primary Industries).
  • 21st Century Town Hall Meeting - Overview

    by Catherine Russell, about 3 years ago
    Img 0106

    21st Century Town Hall Meeting

    The 21st Century Town Meeting is a trademarked process developed by the non-partisan, non-governmental organization AmericaSpeaks, based in the USA. It is a public forum that links technology with small-group, face-to-face dialogue to allow hundreds or even thousands of people to deliberate simultaneously about complex public policy issues and express a shared message to decision-makers.

    The 21st Century Town Meeting should not be confused with a town hall meeting as the latter is an informal public meeting which gives the members of a community an opportunity...

    21st Century Town Hall Meeting

    The 21st Century Town Meeting is a trademarked process developed by the non-partisan, non-governmental organization AmericaSpeaks, based in the USA. It is a public forum that links technology with small-group, face-to-face dialogue to allow hundreds or even thousands of people to deliberate simultaneously about complex public policy issues and express a shared message to decision-makers.

    The 21st Century Town Meeting should not be confused with a town hall meeting as the latter is an informal public meeting which gives the members of a community an opportunity to get together to discuss emerging issues and to voice concerns and preferences for their community.

    The 21st Century Town Meeting aims to create a level playing field on which citizens can be fully engaged with each other in policy and planning discussions that are directly linked to decision-makers and real governance processes.

    As each meeting begins participants talk about why they attended. They also use their keypads to provide demographic information, thus indicating how accurately the target population is represented. A representative group of participants is important to ensure the results are legitimate to the community and decision makers. (Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Founder and President, America Speaks)

    The Review of the Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park is a complex, contentious and important project. It involves identifying and understanding the impact that wild horses are having on this unique National Park and how these can be managed to balance the protection and enhancement of the ecological values of the Park while recognising that for some people wild horses, particularly in this location, represent cultural, historical and animal welfare values that are also strongly held.

    The use of a 21st Century Town Hall Meeting as an engagement method for this project has come about for a number of reasons.

    Firstly, the debate about these issues has been dominated by the views of the pro-horse and environmental sectors. Both these positions are strongly held and well known, having been involved in formal and informal engagement with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for an extended period of time. Both sectors remain concerned that their key objectives – the protection of the wild horses and the environment, respectively – are not and may not continue to be the focus of this next Management Plan. Both sectors have not reached agreement on the level of impact or the most appropriate management methods that should be employed in the Park.

    National Parks hold a special place within Australian society in their own right. Not only are they legislated to protect, preserve and enhance the native flora, fauna and ecology of the nation, they are also a major recreational resource for millions of visitors each year. Kosciuszko National Park alone has over four million visitors each year, skiing, bushwalking, camping and riding in the Park.

    Identifying and hearing the views and values of everyday citizens whose taxes pay for the Park is therefore an important part of any public policy debate about the Management Plan. It is for this reason that we have identified 75 randomly selected, demographically representative participants to work through some of the major issues for the Management Plan in a 21st Century Town Hall Meeting. Each participant was identified by an independent third party market research firm and those who identified strongly with either the environment or with horses were excluded, leaving us with a group of people who have been invited to attend to discuss issues relating to National Parks.

    This form of engagement is designed to bring together complex policy issues and provide the opportunity for small group discussion to identify shared values and views, together with anonymous keepad polling on key questions so the group as a whole can indicate their opinions based on the information presented and the table discussions. Results from the polling will be immediately available to everyone in the room so that a high degree of transparency and accountability can be achieved.

    Representatives from both the pro-horse and environmental lobbies have also been invited to attend, to both articulate their views at table discussions but also to observe the proceedings. Video recordings of the key positions of both groups will feature today as will information from National Parks and the RSPCA. As there are not equal numbers of representatives from each group, they will not be indicating their preferences for key questions via the keepads, as this could skew the results; instead, they will be using paper at their tables to indicate their preferences and this will be shared with the room.

    At the end of today, National Parks will have available to them a robust set of data which identifies what ordinary everyday citizens think of the key issues for the Review of the Management Plan and the values that underpin these. We will also be talking about specific management measures with a view to understanding the general communities understanding of and willingness to pursue these, and why.

    The Review of the Management Plan is being informed by two main data sources – the engagement process, which includes this event, an online forum and website, an online survey, self-directed focus groups or workshops knows as Kitchen Table Discussions and research including focus groups and a telephone survey conducted earlier in the year. The outcomes of all these activities will be reported and provided to National Parks in late January, 2015.

    In addition, an Independent Technical Reference Group comprising a range of specialists in the environment, ecology and animal welfare, wild horse population dynamics, and invasive species management is about to commence a review of the Management Plan. The findings of this Group, together with the engagement outcomes, will be considered by National Parks in the drafting of a new five year Management Plan for Wild Horses in Kosciusko National Park. The Draft Management Plan is expected to be exhibited for public comment in the middle of 2015. 


  • About the online conversation

    by Catherine Russell, about 3 years ago
    The Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park is currently being reviewed and your input will help shape the next plan.

    Here you can join the conversation about the Wild Horse Management Plan Review till 12 December 2014 (extended from 30 November), access useful resources, share the conversation on social media and find out about the review process and the opportunities to have your say.

    Before you join the conversation be sure to read the guidelines for participation and please note this site is moderated weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

    Forums to date have examined sections of the...

    The Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park is currently being reviewed and your input will help shape the next plan.

    Here you can join the conversation about the Wild Horse Management Plan Review till 12 December 2014 (extended from 30 November), access useful resources, share the conversation on social media and find out about the review process and the opportunities to have your say.

    Before you join the conversation be sure to read the guidelines for participation and please note this site is moderated weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

    Forums to date have examined sections of the Wild Horse Management Plan including: the Objectives (Section 2, page 3), Significance (Section 3, page 5), Population and Distribution (Section 3.5, page 13), Management methods (Section 5, page 17) and the humane treatment of wild horses (Section 3.3, page 29). Key sections will be revisited in future forums. 

    Forums till 15th November will focus on management methods (Section5, page 17). 


  • Invitation to Register Interest: Taking ownership and possession of wild horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park

    by Catherine Russell, about 3 years ago

    NSW NATIONAL PARKS & WILDLIFE SERVICE (NPWS)

    Part of NSW OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENT HERITAGE (OEH)

    Wild Horse Management Program

    Taking ownership and possession of wild horses that are removed from within Kosciuszko National Park

    Invitation to register Interest

    Brief

    Southern Ranges Region  November 2014

    1.  PURPOSE OF BRIEF

    The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) Southern Ranges Region as part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage(OEH) is seeking written registrations of interest from individuals or parties to take ownership and...

    NSW NATIONAL PARKS & WILDLIFE SERVICE (NPWS)

    Part of NSW OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENT HERITAGE (OEH)

    Wild Horse Management Program

    Taking ownership and possession of wild horses that are removed from within Kosciuszko National Park

    Invitation to register Interest

    Brief

    Southern Ranges Region  November 2014

    1.  PURPOSE OF BRIEF

    The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) Southern Ranges Region as part of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage(OEH) is seeking written registrations of interest from individuals or parties to take ownership and possession of the wild horses when removed from Kosciuszko National Park (KNP), and other associated conservation reserves prior to seeking offers (tenders / quotes) and the letting of contracts and or agreements for trapping and removal.

    2.  DESCRIPTION AND SUMMARY OF PROGRAM

    The NPWS is implementing a program to capture and remove wild horses (horses) from certain areas within the Kosciuszko National Park as part of its Horse Management Plan. The program will focus on the use of humane passive capture techniques that have been developed and evaluated during a trial program conducted in the Kosciuszko National Park since 2003 and run as an ongoing control program to present.

    The program entails the trapping of small mobs of between 1 to 15 wild horses at a time, which are then loaded and trucked out of the park by 4WD truck or 4WD vehicle and stock trailer and relocated to a suitable property or holding facility where the suitable parties or individuals will take ownership and possession of the horses.

    The current wild horse capture and removal program is planned to continue until 2016 and whilst the current plan and program are being reviewed. Over the last 5 years an average of in excess of 80 horses have been trapped and removed annually from southern Kosciuszko National Park and up to 500 horses from northern Kosciuszko National Park. It is anticipated that wild horses will be trapped and removed annually as part of this ongoing program. 

    Copies of the Kosciusko National Park Horse Management Plan 2008 are available to be viewed online and downloaded from the NPWS OEH website for your information.

    DECC | Kosciuszko National Park Horse Management Plan

    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/pestweeds/KnpHorseMgmtplan.htm

    This registration of interest relates to components C of the project – Taking possession and relocation of wild horses

    Suitably experienced, equipped, resourced and interested individuals or parties are encouraged to register their interest in component C of the program. – Taking ownership and possession of wild horses which have been removed via the trapping program.

    3. COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM

    The project will be split into three separate components, some of which may be undertaken by NPWS staff, or alternatively undertaken in conjunction with or via external groups or individuals via agreement or contract arrangement.

    A. Capture, handling and loading of wild horses at trap sites within southern and northern KNP, utilising approved established humane passive trapping techniques.

    B. Loading, transport and haulage of wild horses from trap sites or holding yards within Kosciuszko National Park to nominated agreed locations situated outside of the Park utilising 2WD / 4WD truck or 4WD vehicle and stock trailer combinations;

    C. Taking ownership and possession of relocated wild horses after delivery to nominated and agreed holding yards at suitably positioned, resourced and equipped properties or locations to accommodate wild horses.

    This registration of interest relates to only components C of the project – Taking ownership and possession of wild horses.

    The NSW NPWS does not have the capacity or facilities to hold and retain trapped wild horses for any length of time, as well as in the interest to reduce unnecessary stress on trapped animals, therefore interested individuals and parties are required to be able to accept and accommodate the allocated wild horses at short notice regardless of the consignment number, their age, sex, colouration or conformation.

    4. CRITERIA OF ASSESSMENT FOR SUITABLE PARTIES TO ACCEPT WILD HORSES.

    The NPWS will assess all written registrations of interest received against the following criteria with regard the suitability of parties or individuals to accept wild horses.

    4.2. The Individual or party has suitably demonstrated experience, expertise and capability in handling wild horses or stock, and an understanding of the challenges and inherent risks of handling and working with unbroken, wild horses.

    4.3. The individual or party preferably have sufficient resources and expertise to effectively manage the relocation and accommodating of up to 15 wild horses per trapping event from Kosciuszko National Park during the agreement period, if necessary. Individuals or parties that are only able to accommodate either individual or smaller numbers of horses than 15 are still encouraged to submit a registration of interest but will be a lower priority to have horses delivered.  

    4.4. The individual or party have the resources to, within 24 hours notice of a trapping event, take possession of all trapped horses made available by either NPWS staff or NPWS contractor by picking up from the nominated holding yard that is accessible by 2WD truck.

    4.5. The individual or party be able to identify a holding property  with suitable holding yards where wild horses can be unloaded that is within 3 hours travel distance of the Kosciuszko National Park  trapping program localities, or the townships of Jindabyne, Khancoban, Tumut or Adaminaby.

    4.6. The individual or party is able to identify a holding property that has adequate yards, fencing and other facilities including adequate feed and water to handle the wild horses received.  The location and condition of the holding property will have to be such that there is no risk of horses escaping onto NPWS or other Crown lands or adjoining properties.  The holding property may be inspected by NPWS staff prior to the signing of agreements and the supplying of any horses captured in Kosciuszko National Park.

    5.  GENERAL CONDITIONS

    Before any individual or party is approved to receive horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park they will need to agree in writing, to abide by the following conditions:

    5.2. The individual or party must take possession and ownership of all wild horses which are part of the delivery consignment (maximum of  up to 15, minimum of 1), regardless of their age, sex, colouration or conformation that are delivered by NPWS or its contractors to the nominated holding yard.

    5.3. The individual or party must be contactable every day and be able to within 24 hours of being given notification of a trapping event be in a position to receive trapped wild horses at the nominated holding yard during the period of the agreement.

    5.4. On receipt of horses from the NPWS delivering the horses the individual or party will take ownership, including sole responsibility and liability for the wild horses’ welfare and maintenance including any immediate or ongoing associated costs. The NPWS will not take back any horses handed over.

    5.5. A copy of all details of eventual fate and sale or disposal of all wild horses accepted from the program must be provided to the NPWS within 6 months of taking ownership of the wild horses.

    5.6. The individual or party agrees not to sell, loan, donate or lease any wild horses to individuals or groups who intend to release the wild horses onto either NPWS or public managed lands or unfenced private lands that adjoin NPWS or public managed lands.

    5.7. The individual or party agrees to make available for inspection by NPWS or RSPCA officers any sites where horses will be retained by them.

    6. PERIOD OF AGREEMENT

    6.2. The Agreement period will be from 1st December 2014 to 1st December 2015.

    6.3. This agreement period may be increased or reduced via negotiation and mutual agreement between the individual / group and the Regional Manager.

    6.4. The Agreement will be subject to a review of performance at two months from commencement.

    6.5. The Agreement may be terminated by the Regional Manager with two weeks notice. Reasons for suspension may include:

    6.5.1. Individual or group not meeting required response or availability times.

    6.5.2. Individual or group not taking the required amount of horses.

    6.5.3. Individual or group breaching animal welfare codes of practice.

    6.6. The Agreement may be suspended by the Regional Manager with 24 hours notice for emergency events affecting the program area, such as fire or flood.

    Note: Regional Manager refers to the NPWS Regional Manager for the Southern Ranges Region.

    7.  CRITERIA TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

    Written registrations of interest addressing the following information and requirements as listed below will be considered:

    7.2. Full name and address of the individual or company / organisation and the names of officer holders / managers where applicable;

    7.3. If an organisation, proof of incorporation with the NSW Department of Fair Trading;

    7.4. Evidence of skills and experience in the handling, loading and transporting of wild horses;

    7.5. Evidence of ability to respond and be available at their nominated holding yards to receive horses delivered by NPWS staff or its contractors within 24 hours of notification by NPWS;

    7.6. Full details of the type any vehicles, trucks and or trailers that will be used in the relocation of the horses and specifications of the horse crate, registration number and evidence of current comprehensive insurance and public liability insurance coverage of at least $20 million dollars;

    7.7. Details of the location of the holding property, if used, where horses will be taken when removed from the park and its travel distance from either the townships of Jindabyne, Khancoban, Tumut or Adaminaby

    7.8. Proof of ownership and/or written approval of the owner(s) of the holding property(s) to use the property to hold wild horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park.

    7.9. Proposed procedure for the sale and/or re-homing or disposal of horses received.

    7.10. Any maximum limits to the number of horses that the individual or group can take.

    7.11. Contact details for the person or organisation if further information is required by the NPWS in assessing the registration of interest.

    Please note that final selection may require a face to face interview and property and facility inspection.

    Registrations of interest may be submitted on the attached proforma.

    8. WHAT THE NPWS WILL/ WILL NOT PROVIDE 

    During the agreement period the NPWS will provide:

    8.2. 24 hours notification by phone call to the individual or party of intended trapping periods, and confirming their readiness to receive up to 15 wild horses or the agreed number of wild horses at their nominated holding yards.

    8.3. Transportation of wild horses via NPWS staff or contractor to the nominated and agreed holding yard in accordance with the model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport of Horses (CSIRO 2003), in a fit and reasonable condition.

    8.4. copies of the relevant  Code of practice including the model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport of Horses (CSIRO 2003) and the Draft NSW NPWS Code of Practice  for the passive trapping and/or transport of feral horses;

    8.5. Provide individual record sheet/s identifying each horse taken possession of by the individual or party, with documentation to record the eventual fate of the feral horses received to be returned to the NPWS after 6 months by the individual or group.

    8.6. Contact details for Wild Horse advocacy community groups that may provide further advice in regard to the care and re-homing of wild horses.

    The NPWS will not provide:

    8.7. Any guarantees as to the number, age, sex, colouration, conformity or temperament of wild horses available or delivered to any individual or party.

    8.8. Any remuneration or financial support to any individual or party that has taken ownership and possession of wild horses from the program. In so doing the individual or party agrees that they are responsible and liable for the ongoing care or husbandry of wild horses from the program, including, feed, water, housing, agistment, transportation, veterinarian, farriery, blacksmithing or dentistry fees required by the wild horse/s.

    9.  SUBMISSION OF REGISTRATIONS OF INTEREST

    Written  submissions should be clearly marked as:

    Registration of interest response– Taking ownership and possession of Wild Horses

    And can be lodged at:

    National Parks and Wildlife Service

    Southern Ranges Regional Office

     Kosciuszko Road, (PO Box 2228)

    JINDABYNE NSW 2627.

    Registrations of interest on the attached submission proforma may be submitted electronically by email or by facsimile to.

    Email:   rob.gibbs@environment.nsw.gov.au

    Fax:  (02) 6456 2291

    For further information please contact :

    Snowy River Area Manager

    Pam O’Brien 

    Ph - Office 02 6456 7266, mobile 0428 486 340

    or

    Senior Project Officer

    KNP Wild Horse Management Plan

    Rob Gibbs

    Ph - Office 02 6450 5507, mobile 0427 703 494.


  • SUMMARY: Kosciuszko National Park preliminary results from draft aerial survey report

    by Catherine Russell, over 3 years ago

    EXTRACT: Feral Horses in the Australian Alps National Parks: the Design and Analysis of Surveys Conducted in April-May, 2014.

      The survey was coordinated and undertaken by the Australian Alps National Parks - Feral Horse Working Group, and the report is therefore the intellectual property of the Australian Alps Liaison Committee (AALC). The draft report - Feral Horses in the Australian Alps National Parks: the Design and Analysis of Surveys Conducted in April-May, 2014,is still being finalised, so the full report has not been publicly released.

    ·  In 1986, with the signing...

    EXTRACT: Feral Horses in the Australian Alps National Parks: the Design and Analysis of Surveys Conducted in April-May, 2014.

      The survey was coordinated and undertaken by the Australian Alps National Parks - Feral Horse Working Group, and the report is therefore the intellectual property of the Australian Alps Liaison Committee (AALC). The draft report - Feral Horses in the Australian Alps National Parks: the Design and Analysis of Surveys Conducted in April-May, 2014,is still being finalised, so the full report has not been publicly released.

    ·  In 1986, with the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), NSW, Victoria, ACT and Australian government national park authorities formally agreed the national parks in the Australian Alps should be managed cooperatively to protect the area’s special character. Through this spirit of cooperation the Australian Alps Liaison Committee (AALC) was formed to ensure that the parks and reserves in the Alps are managed as one biogeographical entity to protect them for generations to come.

    ·  This summary document has been provided to keep stakeholder groups and members of the community who are involved in the consultation and engagement processes surrounding the review of Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management informed.

    ·  This document is from a draft report (63pages without raw data) and is a summary relating to the Kosciusko National Park component of the survey and interpretation of its preliminary results. Any reference to the results provided in this summary should reflect that they are from a draft report and should be presented as such and reviewed against the final report once it is released.

    ·  Dr Stuart Cairns, a lecturer and researcher at the School of Environmental Science and Rural Studies at the University of New England was engaged to undertake the survey design and analysis of data and results and provide a report to the AALC.

    Dr Cairns has extensive experience in zoology, ecology and statistics, and in particular in the design and analysis of aerial surveys of free ranging wild animal populations.

    ·  These surveys were conducted as helicopter line transect surveys in four survey blocks in the AANP.

    ·  The surveys were designed using the automated design engine of DISTANCE 6.0.  A number of design options were assessed and the most appropriate designs for each survey block selected following consultation with the staff of the NSW OEH and Parks Victoria.

    ·  Further information on the DISTANCE 6.0 package utilised to design and conduct the survey and its analysis and the principles of applying sampling surveys for estimating population size can be obtained by referring to these websites.

    http://distancesampling.org/

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01737.x/pdf

    Kosciuszko National Park Preliminary Results Summary

    ·  The draft report of the 2014 Australian Alps horse aerial survey has estimated about 6,000 wild horses in Kosciuszko National Park alone, an increase on the 2009, 2003 and 2001 estimates.

    ·  For comparison, the 2009 survey estimated about 4,200 horses in Kosciuszko National Park. In the five years between the current and 2009 surveys, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) removed more than 2,000 horses, yet the population estimate has still increased during this time.

    ·  In statistical terms, there is a 95% chance that the true population of wild horses is between 4,000 and 8,000 in Kosciuszko National Park.

    ·  A total of 2,817 km of transect was surveyed across the Australian Alps using helicopters flown at a ground speed of 93 km-1 at a height of 61 m.  Two trained observers were seated in the rear seats on either side of the aircraft.  Sightings of clusters of horses were recorded into five distance classes in a 150-m wide survey strip.  A total of 305 sighting were made of clusters of horses.

    ·  A single global detection function model was fitted to the data and was used to estimate horse population densities and abundances in the four survey blocks.

     

    ·  The rates of population increase were able to be estimated in relation to the results of the survey conducted in 2009.  For the populations in the North Kosciuszko and Byadbo/Pilot-Victoria, these two estimates were 1.17 (17%) and 1.06 (6%) per year, respectively.

    ·  Applying these rates of increase, the population in the North Kosciuszko block would double every 4.4 years, while the population in the Byadbo-Pilot- Victoria block would double every 12 years, assuming no major changes in environmental conditions (eg. wildfire).

    ·  These survey results have a level of precision of 11.3% compared with 25.4% in the 2009 results, making this the most precise survey yet. Experts agree that we are unlikely to improve on this degree of precision.

     

    Amended Table 17 (KNP Results Only).  The population estimates (N) and whole-block density estimates (D) of feral horses in each of the three survey blocks pertaining to Kosciuszko National Park,(KNP)  in the Australian Alps (AANP).  Given with these estimates are the 95% confidence intervals and the coefficients of variation (CVboot). 

    Survey block

    Area (km2)

    N

    95% confidence interval

    D

    95% confidence interval

    CVboot  (%)

    North Kosciuszko

    1,549

    4,247

    2,777 – 5,893

    2.74

    1.79 – 3.80

    18.7

    Snowy Plain

    123

      124

      13 – 293

    1.01

    0.11 – 2.38

    65.2

    Byadbo-Pilot

    1,978

    1,478

    1,109 – 1,969

    0.77

    0.57 – 1.03

    14.5

    KNP Total:

     3,650

    5849

    3899 - 8155

    Other species surveyed

    Apart from horses, other introduced species were counted during the survey.

    The most numerous species sighted during the survey other than horses were feral deer. The counts of deer in the Byadbo-Pilot-Victoria block were analysed using the CDS analysis engine of DISTANCE 6.2. 

    This returned an estimate of 1029 deer in KNP with a CV of 20.6% with upper and lower 95% Confidence Interval levels of 679 - 1,511 deer. 


  • Resources

    over 3 years ago
  • Organisation Links

    by Catherine Russell, over 3 years ago
  • NEWS: 20 August 2014 - The Guardian -The battle of Australia's brumbies

    by Catherine Russell, over 3 years ago

    It’s been a hard winter for Australia’s wild horses. But things may be about to get much worse for these totemic animals. Their swelling numbers are damaging the continent’s precious alpine ranges, and tensions are mounting over what needs to happen next.

    It’s been a hard winter for Australia’s wild horses. But things may be about to get much worse for these totemic animals. Their swelling numbers are damaging the continent’s precious alpine ranges, and tensions are mounting over what needs to happen next.

  • NEWS: 15 August 2014 -Armidale Express-Wild stallions buck trend in infertility trial

    by Catherine Russell, over 3 years ago

    STALLIONS are getting the better of a contraceptive made from pigs’ ovaries.

    The New England Brumby Sanctuary horses have been given the jab in a bid to make them infertile, according to founder Jan Carter.

    But it has so far only reduced their sperm count.


    STALLIONS are getting the better of a contraceptive made from pigs’ ovaries.

    The New England Brumby Sanctuary horses have been given the jab in a bid to make them infertile, according to founder Jan Carter.

    But it has so far only reduced their sperm count.


  • NEWS: 26 July 2014 - Canberra Times - Kosciuszko wild horses should be culled, says activist

    by Catherine Russell, over 3 years ago

    A drover’s daughter is challenging the core of Australia’s horse-riding heritage, saying Banjo Paterson’s Man from Snowy River was penned when people accepted cruelty to horses.

    Dianne Thompson has culled a line from the poem to rekindle a decades-long debate about the impact of horses on the sources of the Murray, Snowy and Murrumbidgee rivers in Kosciuszko National Park.  


    A drover’s daughter is challenging the core of Australia’s horse-riding heritage, saying Banjo Paterson’s Man from Snowy River was penned when people accepted cruelty to horses.

    Dianne Thompson has culled a line from the poem to rekindle a decades-long debate about the impact of horses on the sources of the Murray, Snowy and Murrumbidgee rivers in Kosciuszko National Park.