Welcome to the Snowy Mountains.

NPWS recognises the traditional owners past and present and invites you to the story of the Kosciuszko National Park.

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.

Impacts

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.

Current Management

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.

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2020
Wild Horse Population
Man from Snowy River 1890
Wild Horse Population
11595 in Aust Alps
5889 in Kosciuszko
1558 Removed
The wild horse population figures are based on aerial and ground survey results from 2003 to 2014. These figures use the lowest growth rate for wild horses of 8% population growth per year. Wild horse populations can grow between 6% and 20% each year. X is the number of wild horses removed in the past three years. ( ? ) Source

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