Horses and heritage

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Horses and heritage

Postby davidmorr » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 12:56 am

In Kosciusko NP in NSW, there is a serious feral horse problem. The numbers are growing by somewhere between 8 and 22% per year, and it is believed there are many more horses now. Control of the horses has been restricted by lobbying by horse interests who have convinced politicians to allow only 200 horses a year to be removed, so I was told by a ranger.

There is currently a review of the Wild Horse Management Plan under way. They are seeking input from anyone who has an interest in Kosciusko NP, which I imagine is bushwalkers from all over Australia.

https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/protectsnowies

They are structuring this as a series of conversations (like forum threads) on a range of subjects, such as:

What is more important to consider- the estimated population of wild horses or the impact of wild horses on the National Park? or both?
Why are the Snowy Mountains important to you?
Have you adopted a wild horse? Tell us your experience

At present, the horse lobby is most vocal, and will likely get their way, ie, no controls on horses at all, unless there is significant input from other people.

What is needed is for bushwalkers and others to join in these conversations, putting our side of the story, and expressing our views. All you need to do is add a comment or two, in a very reasoned and sensible manner, saying that the mountains are important to you and why.

Some very eloquent and moving comments that would answer the questions were posted in a thread I started in 2012 called Why do people go bushwalking?

http://www.bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8587

Comments like those would help to counter the emotional stuff put by the horse lobby. And please check back every week or so as more conversations will be started between now and November.

One point to consider: If you use the term "brumby" you are reinforcing the emotional side of the argument by the horse people. Call them nags or feral horses, to indicate clearly that they are a pest just as much as pigs and cats in the bush.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby wander » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:06 am

I would echo davidmorr comments above.

Please raise your voice people who would prefer to see feral animals subject to eradication programs and not left in Parks for other pursuits.

A horse is the same as a pig as a goat as a deer as a cow as a sheep in the context of a National Park.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:16 am

Thanks, scathing comment posted.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:32 am

That number of 40,000 can't be correct?
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:35 am

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbpro ... facts.htmm

But also not real wild horses, just feral domestic ones.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:41 am

icefest wrote:http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/quick_facts.htmm

But also not real wild horses, just feral domestic ones.


You realise that link is for the United States.........
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:59 am

I'm also taking about mustangs, which tend to be in the united States.

The Australian statistics have been posted above my post, by parks.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 9:17 am

40,000 horses with a growth rate of 20% would mean 97,000 horses in 5 years!!!!!!!

Kosciusko NP is 1,600,000 acres or 40km X 40 km roughly. That final figure would mean a horse standing on every 17 acres or so. They would be every where, in the villages on the roads, in the car parks every where. You would visually see mobs of horses numbering in the 1000's whilst you were getting on a chairlift!!!!!

Just does not add up sorry, and despite my username, I hate horses with a passion.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby davidmorr » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 9:20 am

Giddy_up wrote:That number of 40,000 can't be correct?
I have forgotten where I saw that, but I believe it is correct.

This report suggests that there are 14000 in the Pilot area alone, and that would be only 10% of the area of the park. So 40000 does not seem unreasonable.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/wild-horses-damaging-alpine-ecosystem-20130527-2n61v.html
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby davidmorr » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 9:25 am

Giddy_up wrote:40,000 horses with a growth rate of 20% would mean 97,000 horses in 5 years!!!!!!!

Kosciusko NP is 1,600,000 acres or 40km X 40 km roughly. That final figure would mean a horse standing on every 17 acres or so. They would be every where, in the villages on the roads, in the car parks every where. You would visually see mobs of horses numbering in the 1000's whilst you were getting on a chairlift!!!!!
Well, if you travel in KNP in some areas, you do see horses everywhere. Driving up the Long Plain road, you are likely to see several hundred just beside the road, and most of the horses keep away from the roads and tracks.
Just does not add up sorry, and despite my username, I hate horses with a passion.
I hope you will say that on the web site. Whatever the number of horses, they are still a problem.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby mikethepike » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 9:52 am

I read a few years ago that all of the feral horses in the NSW alps were attributed to have arisen from one person's release of around 20 horses around a century ago - a horse trader possibly - and that seemd highly preposterous to me but it was a station owner's position (or owners' possibly, I can't recall) on the topic but really I believe, just his/their way of saying "The're not ours, Don't blame us!"
The horse lobby is very strong and horses have a heart strings pull on city people that doesn't exist with most of Australia's other feral animals. The Coffin Bay NP on the bottom of Eyre Peninsular consists of mallee country and some large grassy areas from previous farming days and a great controversy that raged for several years was what to do with the feral horses there. All 20 of them from memory! Finally they were removed and put on some horse lover's large property. But 40,000! The French and Swiss eat horses and so should we or at least the omnivores amongst us.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 9:56 am

KNP had 1,700 as estimated by parks in 2005. Even if the horses had triplets they could not now have numbers of 40,000.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby peregrinator » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 10:43 am

I don't have figures for KNP but Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment have initiated a management study on horses in the Victorian alps. Quoting the preamble: "Latest estimates suggest that in 2012 there were 8200 – 10 900 wild horses in the Victorian Alps." I suppose the numbers would exceed that in 2014 given that the study has still not been completed.

The "heritage" aspect is largely horses--t. What about the wonderful whaling heritage?
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby mikethepike » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 10:54 am

Giddy_up wrote:That number of 40,000 can't be correct?

Giddy_up wrote:KNP had 1,700 as estimated by parks in 2005. Even if the horses had triplets they could not now have numbers of 40,000.

The last aerial survey estimated 14,000 brumbies in the NSW and Vic. high country in 2012. I think that may have been accidently heard as 40,000 but the numbers are expected to go skywards and well above 40,000 within a few years of the fertility rate remains unchanged at over 20% pa and nothing is done in the meantime to reduce the numbers and the sooner you start, the far less horses you need to deal with.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby davidmorr » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 11:10 am

According to one of the comments on the site, there is an aerial survey being done now as a part of this process. This will determine the actual numbers of horses once and for all.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 11:28 am

davidmorr wrote:According to one of the comments on the site, there is an aerial survey being done now as a part of this process. This will determine the actual numbers of horses once and for all.



Yes I read that there was a new survey being done. It will be interesting to see what numbers do get put out, but one must assume that all the maths that was applied in the 2008 report must still be applied to the current census. Its will take intervention of the highest order (loaves and fishes) to achieve 40,000 horses in KNP, which is the area in question.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby walkon » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 11:35 am

Giddy_up wrote:
davidmorr wrote:According to one of the comments on the site, there is an aerial survey being done now as a part of this process. This will determine the actual numbers of horses once and for all.



Yes I read that there was a new survey being done. It will be interesting to see what numbers do get put out, but one must assume that all the maths that was applied in the 2008 report must still be applied to the current census. Its will take intervention of the highest order (loaves and fishes) to achieve 40,000 horses in KNP, which is the area in question.
Giddy_up wrote:KNP had 1,700 as estimated by parks in 2005. Even if the horses had triplets they could not now have numbers of 40,000.


And your point is? In a national park there should be no feral animals. The carrying on about disputed numbers is nothing but trying to muddy the waters on the true issue which is the damage being done to the park.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 11:43 am

My point is that numbers have been quoted that at best are misleading, worst.....horses..t.

Identifying numbers accurately will determine appropriate course of action and methods to be used to control or eradicate and also ensure that any operation that is required has sufficient funding to achieve it targets. No good using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby davidmorr » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 12:04 pm

Giddy_up wrote:My point is that numbers have been quoted that at best are misleading, worst.....horses..t.
How do you know they are wrong? You admit that no-one knows the true numbers.

And is this any different from the horse lobby using heritage and the phoney romance of the br*mb* to advance their cause? Just because there were a few in the high country 100 years ago, does that mean we should never, ever remove any?

BTW, are you challenging the horse people in the conversations on their romantic notions as much as you are challenging the numbers here?
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby perfectlydark » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 12:41 pm

now call me naive, but if anyone is good at 'breaking' horses are they allowed to go in and capture some to be tamed? seems like a win-win in all cases?
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 12:45 pm

davidmorr wrote:
Giddy_up wrote:My point is that numbers have been quoted that at best are misleading, worst.....horses..t.
How do you know they are wrong? You admit that no-one knows the true numbers.

And is this any different from the horse lobby using heritage and the phoney romance of the br*mb* to advance their cause? Just because there were a few in the high country 100 years ago, does that mean we should never, ever remove any?

BTW, are you challenging the horse people in the conversations on their romantic notions as much as you are challenging the numbers here?


The best guess on numbers was quoted in the 2008 report on wild horse numbers in KNP. You have advanced a number which fly's completely in the face of logic and reason based on that 2008 census number by at least a factor of 100%. KNP, and this is all we are talking about here as that is the report as quoted by yourself, is only so big and to advance that the park has 40,000 horses in it and growing at a rate of 20% is just not accurate. In the 2008 report the best guess on growth rate across a range of seasonal conditions year on year is 8%. Their numbers not mine!!!!

My challenge was about those numbers used by you. WHY??

Because any reasonably accepted process will have to have a budget, will have to meet the communities expectations on animal welfare and will have to achieve certain environmental outcomes. That may well be complete removal of all horses. But if one has to fund this, and it always comes back to funding, the difference in capital required to meet the expectations listed above will vary enormously if one uses a number of 5-8000 horses as compared to 40,000 and growing.

I want what is best for the park, best for the animals concerned and something that mirrors community sentiment, as for romantic notions, I hold none.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 12:56 pm

My 40k number is in regards to Mustangs in the USA. I don't think there is a recent estimate for feral horses in the alpine area (1700 in 2005) - nor for Australia-wide numbers (400,000, 2006).

This was my post, directed at another commenter, with my opinion at the end:

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From: https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/p ... ional-park
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 1:01 pm

icefest wrote:My 40k number is in regards to Mustangs in the USA. I don't think there is a recent estimate for feral horses in the alpine area (1700 in 2005) - nor for Australia-wide numbers (400,000, 2006).

This was my post, directed at another commenter, with my opinion at the end:

Image
From: https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/p ... ional-park


Not questioning your 40k number icefest, I read that report and understood it for what is was. I do how ever have a problem with the davidmorr number and its application to the 2008 Horse Management Plan for KNP.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby walkon » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 1:20 pm

Giddy_up wrote:
Not questioning your 40k number icefest, I read that report and understood it for what is was. I do how ever have a problem with the davidmorr number and its application to the 2008 Horse Management Plan for KNP.


Then what are you really questioning? If you are standing by the horse lobby that wants them to remain just say so and make your intentions clear. Right now all I read is that you are concerned with the number count and with the result of smashing a Walnut with a sledge hammer. I can't see anyone being impassioned with that argument
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 1:28 pm

The number stated by davidmorr in the opening post.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 2:50 pm

walkon wrote:
Giddy_up wrote:
Not questioning your 40k number icefest, I read that report and understood it for what is was. I do how ever have a problem with the davidmorr number and its application to the 2008 Horse Management Plan for KNP.


Then what are you really questioning? If you are standing by the horse lobby that wants them to remain just say so and make your intentions clear. Right now all I read is that you are concerned with the number count and with the result of smashing a Walnut with a sledge hammer. I can't see anyone being impassioned with that argument


Go back to the original post walkon and then read all of them.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby walkon » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 3:13 pm

icefest wrote:The number stated by davidmorr in the opening post.


Nah it's not that. The pro horse lobby is just using that as a starting point to change the focus of the debate to be about numbers not horses plus throw a tad of heritage in. All it is doing is controlling the debate, stalling and changing focus Sticking up energy.

If you have a different opinion debate it, to be up in arms about a supposed number is disingenuous. The real debate is whether horses are doing damage to the high country and if this supposed heritage that they possess is worth keeping to some degree.

Giddyup, I've had and are all having this debate with some horse lovers like I'd say you are. It has been very heated at times and the crux of their argument in a nutshell is that they want horses running feral in our alpine country. Nothing to do with heritage or not damaging the ecology. With one exception these people never go up to the high country but they like the idea of horses being free up there. That's what they debate open, honestly and passionately. Ironically it's the one who goes Bush that thinks numbers need to be managed, not any of the others.
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walkon wrote:
Giddy_up wrote:
Not questioning your 40k number icefest, I read that report and understood it for what is was. I do how ever have a problem with the davidmorr number and its application to the 2008 Horse Management Plan for KNP.


Then what are you really questioning? If you are standing by the horse lobby that wants them to remain just say so and make your intentions clear. Right now all I read is that you are concerned with the number count and with the result of smashing a Walnut with a sledge hammer. I can't see anyone being impassioned with that argument


Go back to the original post walkon and then read all of them.

From the original post
davidmorr wrote:
What is more important to consider- the estimated population of wild horses or the impact of wild horses on the National Park? .


I did in just being upfront with my beliefs and debating the real issue
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 3:22 pm

walkon, I can guarantee you that I absolutely hate horses and have only ever sat on one once. I have no time for the *&%$#! things.

I really am curious where the 40,000 horses are that are in KNP.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby walkon » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 4:06 pm

Google it, look it up on the nsw parks site, plenty of references there. Sorry if I have put you in the wrong camp but that is the line that they are pushing, it has forced parks into another head count at a cost and stymied the debate, sick of the same old.
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Re: Horses and heritage

Postby Giddy_up » Tue 19 Aug, 2014 5:45 pm

walkon wrote:Google it, look it up on the nsw parks site, plenty of references there. Sorry if I have put you in the wrong camp but that is the line that they are pushing, it has forced parks into another head count at a cost and stymied the debate, sick of the same old.


I have tried to find reference to the fact that 40,000 horses are in KNP. Cant find it any where!!!!

Best reference I can find is 1,700 head as of 2005 here: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resou ... inal08.pdf

They state that there were 590 head in the southern end of the park and 1120 in the northern end of the park after the 2003 fires. Thats a lot less horses than the 40,000 quoted on here.
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