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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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feral species

Impacts of Feral Horses on the Bogong High Plains

Feral horses pose a threat to and damage the environmental values of the Victorian alps, including areas of the Bogong High Plains. This impact has been well documented in the past.

To address this threat, Parks Victoria has for some time undertaken a trapping program to reduce the number of horses, and hence the damage they have on sensitive alpine flora and fauna.

A new report has been released based on assessments of impacts on a number of locations across the Bogong High Plains in north eastern Victoria, and how these impacts have changed over the last decade.

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Parks Victoria seeks feedback on wild horse removal program

Feral horse levels in the Alpine National Park are at critical levels. Their hard hooves cause serious damage to the sensitive alpine environment. Without intervention, their impacts will cause severe long-term harm to the park’s special endangered native alpine wildlife and plant species.

Parks Victoria (PV) is expanding it’s horse removal program in the Eastern Alps and seeks your feedback. Feedback closes on 2 February.

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Snowy brumby cull plan to be shelved

The Telegraph is reporting that the state government proposal to cull ­almost the entire population of wild horses in the Snowy Mountains is set to be shelved after a government deadlock.

Sadly it seems that the ‘horses are a cultural icon and must be protected’ interests have won out (for the time being) over sensible land management. For a summary of the environmental impacts of wild horses, check here.

Continue reading “Snowy brumby cull plan to be shelved”

Alps blueprint proposes major cull of horses

Recently the Victorian government released a ‘blueprint’ plan for the national parks in the Alps, which aims to guide management over the next 15 years.

The plan identifies eight priorities for urgent action, one of which is feral horse control.

Peter Hunt from The Weekly Times has looked into one aspect of the plan which will cause concern among groups who have campaigned against shooting feral horses. However, the environmental impacts of wild horses are well documented and numbers of these animals needs to be radically reduced.

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Greater Alpine National Parks Management Plan released

Parks Victoria has released its blueprint for managing and protecting 900,000 hectares of Victoria’s unique alpine and high country over the next 15 years.

The Greater Alpine National Parks Management Plan aims to protect and enhance the outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values of the parks.

Continue reading “Greater Alpine National Parks Management Plan released”

Rabbits adapting to eat snow gum leaves

This is a worrying development. Research by the legendary Ken Green shows that rabbits are now moving into snowy mountainous areas by adapting to survive on snow gum leaves when there is limited availability of grass. These are generally toxic to most animals.

The following article by Alice Klein comes from New Scientist.

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Summer Hawkweed Surveys

Many Mountain Journal readers will know that Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species which can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. Parks Victoria organises a series of Hawkweed surveys on the Bogong High Plains each year. If you love the Victorian Alps, the surveys are a great way to do something practical to support the ecological integrity of the mountains.

The following information comes from Parks Victoria:

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Hound hunting for deer in our Parks?

Anyone who spends time in the High Country has probably seen a deer (or several). While not as well known as wild horses in terms of environmental damage, deer are a real problem for sub alpine environments.

Recreational hunters have often argued that they are a key part of the solution to the deer problem and have recently made these claims in the Victorian parliamentary inquiry that’s currently underway.

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Brumby damage in alpine regions rated ‘significant’

Brumbies (wild horses) cause a huge amount of damage in the Australian high country. While it is usually the herds in Kosciusko National Park that feature in the news stories and public debates, this recent piece by Nicola Bell from The Weekly Times highlights the problems in Victoria.

Continue reading “Brumby damage in alpine regions rated ‘significant’”

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