Overview

Feral horses in the Alpine National Park are at critical levels. Their hard hooves cause serious damage to the sensitive alpine environment. The abundance of horses and their consequential impacts are causing severe long-term harm to the park’s special endangered native alpine wildlife and plant species.

A plan to manage the horses has been in development for more than two years and has now been approved.

Strategic Action Plan

The Protection of the Alpine National Park - Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan 2018-2021 has been in development for over two years with extensive consultation with horse, community, environmental and cultural stakeholder groups taking part in many discussions. The plan is based on the evidence of impacts gathered by scientists over many years (see the plan’s Appendix 1 -Summary of the Science).

Community members were encouraged to review the plan and provide their feedback on the Engage Victoria website. Close to 1000 submissions were received and the overwhelming majority expressed their support in managing the feral horse population to ensure the future protection of the Alpine National Park and its vulnerable ecosystems.

Parks Victoria wishes to thank all individuals and organisations who provided submissions, completed surveys, attended meetings and commented on the draft plan. A report of the engagement results, Engagement Summary Report - Alpine National Park Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan 2018-2021, is available to download from the links below and in the document library.

The three-year program will involve the primary control technique of passive trapping, with rehoming of the feral horses to be the main priority.

Parks Victoria will be working closely with our partners to achieve a targeted increase to approximately 400 feral horses to be captured and rehomed each year during the program’s duration. This program will be monitored closely for effectiveness in controlling feral horse numbers and reducing their impacts on the fragile Alpine National Park.


Background

Parks Victoria proposed expanding it's existing feral horse removal program in the Eastern Alps region by raising capture rates from approximately 100-160 horses per year to approximately 300-400 horses per year, over three years.

As part of drafting the plan, extensive consultation has taken place with animal welfare, community, environmental and cultural groups through a series of roundtables. A Technical Reference Group including specialists in veterinary science, horse behaviour and welfare and cultural issues has also provided specialist input.

From 22 December 2017 to 16 February 2018, the community was invited to review the draft action plan and provide feedback on:

  • Proposed control methods (Section 8.1.1)
  • Management of captured horses (Section 8.1.3)
  • Communication methods and frequency during the 3-year implementation period (Section 8.2.3)
  • Research priorities (Section 9)

Feedback was sought in the form of a survey or written submission.


Survey

The time period for contributing to this survey has now closed. Thank you.

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Survey

Part 1 : Actions

The plan details four key management actions to reduce the impacts introduced animals are having on Victoria's parks.

Please indicate your level of support for each action by rating them from 1-5 .
1 = Do not support to 5 = Strongly support


Table 1 in Section 8.1.1 of the plan provides an overview of the available control methods.
See Table 1 (PDF)

2. Have you reviewed Table 1?

Part 2: Management of captured horses (Section 8.1.3)

5. Rehoming of captured horses, where possible, is a key aspiration of the Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan. How supportive are you of the live capture, transportation and where possible, rehoming of horses removed from the park? Required

Maximising the chances of captured horses to be rehomed and minimising poor welfare outcomes are key considerations (see page 22).

Part 3: Monitoring, evaluation and research (Section 9)

It is important that we base our decisions and management approach on the best evidence and science available at the time.

We would like your feedback on a number of research actions that are detailed in the draft plan. This will help us in our prioritisation over the next three years.

Please rate how important each action is to you.
1 star = Not important and 5 stars = Very important

9. After reading the plan, are there any knowledge gaps you think need further investigation to help protect alpine parks from the impacts of feral horses?

Part 4: Communications (Section 8.2.3)

As we move into the implementation of the action plan, it is important that we continue to keep you up-to-date.

10. How would you like to receive information on progress against the conservation objectives? Required
11. How often would you like to receive updates? Required

Part 5: General questions and about you

12. I use/visit Alpine National Park Required
13. What is your main interest in the draft plan? Required
14. To help us understand if we have got it right, what is your overall level of support for the draft Protection of the Alpine National Park - Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan 2018-2020? Required
15. How satisfied are you with our engagement process in terms of opportunities to get involved and provide your views? Required
16. Have you engaged with Parks Victoria on other projects in the past 12 months? Required

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

File upload

File upload

Below you can upload your submission to share your feedback on the draft management plan. If you do not want to provide a written submission you can provide feedback using our short survey on the next tab.

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.