A rare alpine sanctuary
For thousands of years our plant and animal species that are found nowhere else in the world have evolved with this place.
It is a landscape with rich history.
It is a place of continuing and spiritual connection for Aboriginal people and many others. Immortalised by Banjo Paterson in "The Man from Snowy River", it became a National Park in 1944, to ensure the beauty of the landscape is protected for all time.
Resilient yet fragile landscape
It is a resilient yet fragile landscape, responding, regenerating and recovering from a range of threats, impacts and land use changes such as grazing, mining and timber harvesting.
In 2003, fire impacted 90% of the park — the largest fire we've seen in nearly a hundred years — leaving the ecosystem and wildlife exposed and vulnerable.
A regenerating landscape
Climate Change and introduced plants and animals challenge the recovering landscape.
Introduced species like feral pigs, goats, cats, dogs, rabbits, foxes and deer, as well as wild horses, spread to new areas of the national park in the aftermath of the fire. They compete for food and shelter in a habitat that is still recovering.
Growth of wild horses
By 2006, mobs of wild horses roamed from the lower reaches of the mountain plains to the summit of Kosciuszko.
Their hard hooves disturb the soft ground as they enjoy the recovering landscape's new fresh shoots.
By 2009 the population of wild horses had grown and mobs could be found throughout 30% of the park.
The soft, spongy, spring-fed bogs and peat-rich soils on the hillsides and valley floor have seen the worst effects of the hard hooves of wild horses and other feral animals.
What were once thick grassy, connected landscapes near river beds, ideal for burrowing native animals, are now 'islands' of habitat separated by the tracks of wild horses keen to get to the rivers.
NPWS manages a range of threats and impacts to the park from introduced animals, weeds, visitors and fire.
Today, wild horses roam in numerous mobs across the landscape. With no natural predator their numbers increase every year.
Our current management programs, focused on trapping, removal and rehoming, have removed 2600 wild horses since 2002, about a third of these have been rehomed.
Wild Horse Management Plan Review
The Wild Horse Management Plan is under its periodic review and we invite people to share their views as part of this process.