Feral horse management

Feral horses on Chance Creek, Kosciuszko National Park (Photo credit NSW Government)

Over the last 13 years, there has been a sustained and significant increase in feral horses across the Australian Alps. Research undertaken recently illustrates the significant impact horses are having on water catchments, and the natural and cultural values of the region.

The growing number of horses in the Australian Alps poses a significant threat to biodiversity and sensitive sub-alpine wetlands in National Heritage listed Namadgi National Park in the ACT. This includes areas of the Cotter Catchment that supply water to Canberra and Queanbeyan. It also includes Endangered High Country Bogs and Associated Fens, Ramsar listed Ginini Flats Wetland Complex and other vegetation communities, which provide habitat for rare and threatened species.

Historically, feral horse populations in Namadgi National Park have fluctuated in response to natural events and control measures, including brumby running, barrier fencing, ground shooting, and trapping and humane destruction. No resident feral horses have been recorded in the ACT since 2011.

The ACT Government's zero-tolerance policy on feral horses is critical to successfully protect the natural and cultural values of Namadgi National Park. Ensuring Namadgi National Park remains free of feral horses is part of a wider pest animal control program across the park.

The first plan to manage feral horses in Namadgi National Park was developed in 2004 and later updated in 2007. The 2007 plan has now been reviewed and the 2020 Namadgi National Park Feral Horse Management Plan has been completed.


Photo credit: Feral horses on Chance Creek, Kosciuszko National Park - NSW Government