Implementing the 2021 Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan

National Parks and Wildlife Service undertakes control of wild horses in Kosciuszko National Park.

Control occurs in accordance with the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan.

The plan came into force in November 2021. National Parks and Wildlife Service commenced on-ground implementation of the plan in February 2022. A summary of the outcome of control programs will be made publicly available from time to time. To protect the safety of National Parks and Wildlife Service staff, contractors and visitors, and the welfare of wild horses, operational details about wild horse control will not be publicly released.

Control program outcomes

Total number of horses removed 24 November 2021 to 20 May 2024

  Rehoming Knackery Other deaths Aerial shooting Ground shooting Shooting in yards Tranquilisation followed by bolt gun in yards Euthanised
Northern block 995 672 15 4,177 759 109 70 38
Snowy Plains block 0 0 0 5 122 0 0 0
Southern block 0 0 0 1,356 186 0 0 0
Cabramurra 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Total – Method 995 672 15 5,539 1,067 109 70 38
Total – Removed 8,505
  • Note: National Parks and Wildlife Service advised the NSW Supreme Court that it would remove no more than 811 horses from the Northern retention management area between 9 May 2024 and 30 June 2024. 
    Between 9 May and 20 May 2024, the number of horses removed from the Northern retention management area is 564 horses.
  • As noted in the plan, ensuring optimal animal welfare outcomes is an important consideration. All control operations are implemented consistent with relevant Commonwealth and NSW animal welfare legislation, regulations, codes of practice and standard operating procedures.
  • ‘Other deaths’ are deaths directly or indirectly related to the passive trapping or temporary holding of wild horses, for example, euthanasia of passively trapped horses with pre-existing injuries or illnesses that prevents transport under the Commonwealth transport standards.

2024 control program

The 2021 Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan was amended on 23 October 2023 to authorise aerial shooting as an approved control method for horses in Kosciuszko National Park.

The amendment means that National Parks and Wildlife Service may use aerial shooting, in addition to existing control methods such as trapping, rehoming, and ground shooting, to meet its legal obligation to reduce the horse population in Kosciuszko National Park to 3,000 by mid-2027.

For the safety of visitors and staff, some sections of the park will be closed temporarily while aerial shooting of horses, pigs, deer and other feral animals is conducted. This is common practice for all feral animal aerial shooting operations across NSW national parks.

Major 2024 closure areas and dates

The following area will be temporarily closed to the public for feral animal control operations in 2024:

  • Northern area (see map below) temporarily closed from 4 April to 4 October 2024.

This area is fully closed to the public and vehicles for the duration of the closure. There is no public access during this time.

Other short-term closures may occur during the year for additional control programs.

Visitors should always check NSW National Parks and Wildlife website alerts before planning to visit any park.

All tracks, trails, campgrounds, huts, picnic areas and accommodation nodes in the closure areas will be closed to the public during these periods, other than Kiandra Courthouse and Delaneys Hut, which remains open in the northern block.

Visitors with impacted campground bookings will be notified and full refunds made.

Closed locations

Locations closed in the northern area include:

  • Bullocks Hill campground
  • Cooinbil Hut campground
  • Cooinbil Hut Horse Camp
  • Ghost Gully campground
  • Long Plain Hut campground
  • Magpie Flat campground
  • Old Snowy campground
  • Perkins Flat campground
  • Rocky Plain campground
  • Wares Yards campground
  • Blue Waterholes campground
  • Cooleman Mountain campground
  • Long Plain Hut horse camp
  • Broken Cart campground
  • Dubbo Flats campground
  • Currango Homestead precinct
  • Clarke Gorge walking track
  • Nichols Gorge walking track
  • Australian Alps walking track north of the Snowy Mountains Highway to the park boundary
  • National Trail north of the Snowy Mountains Highway to the park boundary
  • Hume Hovell walking track from the powerline on the northern boundary of the park to the park boundary at Thomas Boyd track head.

Most of Kosciuszko National Park will be open for visitors to enjoy during these temporary closures, including access to:

  • Mount Kosciuszko
  • alpine resorts
  • Yarrangobilly Caves
  • Snowies Alpine Walk.

Kiandra Courthouse and Delaneys Hut remain open in the northern block.

Resort precincts are not impacted by closures.

A review was conducted into a reported public safety incident in relation to the aerial shooting of feral deer on 15 February 2022 in Kosciuszko National Park. The review concluded there was no immediate risk to human safety. However, it identified recommendations to improve systems and procedures around notifications and park closures during shooting operations. Review recommendations have been accepted by National Parks and Wildlife Service. A summary of the report's findings is available.


2021 Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan

This management plan has been prepared to meet the requirements of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 and is the current management plan. The plan was amended by the Minister for the Environment on 23 October 2023.


Contact us

NPWS Wild horse team