Examples of Australian Wild Horse Study Flaws and Misrepresentation

Example 1

  • Parks Victoria used Colloff et al. (2014) to infer grazing by Barmah horses is the key reason that Moira Grass was disappearing.
  • The full Colloff et al. (2014) paragraph (page 251) states: “Complementary management actions include management of grazing pressure and control of invasive plants, but provision of a flood regime that most closely matches plant-specific water requirements, at least for most of the time, represents the single management action that holds the best prospect for conservation and management of grassy wetlands.”

ABA: In other words, without a return to natural flooding regimes, whether the horses stay or go will have no effect on saving the moira grasses.

Example 2

  • Parks Victoria say “Insights gained from monitoring programs will help to evaluate and improve management effectiveness, as well as identify where changes in the approach or resourcing are needed.”
  • Parks Victoria continue to claim Barmah Brumbies must be exterminated to save the Moira grass DESPITE, four decades of research stating that unless the flood regime is corrected, all the grass will disappear.  This is BECAUSE current flood regimes encourage conditions for red gums saplings and giant rush to take over the remaining Moira grass.

Objections by the ABA and stakeholders to Parks Victoria that removing Barmah’s Brumbies will never stop the imminent disappearance of Moira grasses (because incorrect flood regimes continue), were ignored. Instead Brumbies continue as scapegoats because under park management, the damage from incorrect flood regimes continues. It is inconceivable that an organisation claiming to rely on evidence based science can claim horses must go despite decades of research saying that unless flood regimes are corrected, Moira grasses will shortly disappear (irrespective of horses grazing or not).


Colloff, Matthew J., et al., 2013, Ecology and conservation of grassy wetlands dominated by spiny mud grass Pseudoraphis spinescens in the southern Murray–Darling Basin, Australia, Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 24: 238–255 (2014) Published online 13 September 2013 in Wiley Online Library

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