Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management

Stakeholder Update, April 2021

Post-bushfire control program

The Kosciuszko National Park post-bushfire wild horse control program occurs in the Nungar Plain, Cooleman Plain and Kiandra Plain areas. These areas were impacted during the summer 2019-20 bushfires.

Passive trapping is the only control method in use. The priority is to rehome wild horses removed from the park. Where approved homes do not exist, horses are sent to a knackery. National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is appealing for more approved rehomers for 2021. The rehoming guidelines and application form can be found on the Rehoming requirements page.

Wild horses can foal at any time of the year. Heavily pregnant mares and mares with young foals are currently released from the trap yards back into the park due to transport duration limitations.

The post-fire control program commenced on 23 July 2020. Control will continue while a new wild horse heritage management plan is finalised.

Control program outcomes

  • Program dates: 23 July 2020 to 16 April 2021
  • Number of trapping days: 61
  • Horses removed: 507
  • Horses rehomed: 489
  • Horses sent to knackery: 14
  • Total trapping-related deaths: 4
  • Horses released from trap yards: 288

Notes (to 16 April 2021)

  • The control program is ongoing.
  • 1 mare and 2 colts died in separate incidents while being held in the trap yards due to suspected head or neck injuries.1 mare died in the NPWS temporary holding yards due to a suspected head injury. No other horses were injured. Horse deaths in trap yards are a rare occurrence in the history of the trapping and removal program.

The Kosciuszko Wild Horse Scientific Advisory Panel and Community Advisory Panel

Memberships of both panels have been extended to 30 June 2021. NPWS is grateful to panel members for their continued contribution. Summaries of all panel meetings are available on the Advisory panels page.

Wild horse heritage management plan

We are working on compiling the draft wild horse heritage management plan. Public comment will be sought on the draft plan during public exhibition, planned for the first half of 2021.