Wild Equine Research

Australian research

Australian literature generally concludes that Brumbies cause damage to the environment but these studies are based on correlative data and weak inferences that actually contain evidence supporting the belief that horses can have positive environmental impact

This positive ecological impact is rarely if ever acknowledged because of the strong belief of Australian environmentalists; that since horses are introduced, heavy hard hoofed animals they must only cause damage in Australia.

ABA Autumn Newsletter OUT NOW !

In this edition President’s Chat Member News Why the debate over Compassionate Conservation is worth having Brumby reserve mooted as a solution in Kosi ABA response to 4Corners program Using Government guidelines to define sustainable Brumby populations Continue reading

Kosciuszko Brumby Traps Sabotaged

ABA Media Release – 10 March 2022 The ABA does not support behaviour, nor efforts to deny Brumbies, being trapped by National Parks andWildlife Services (NPWS), a chance to be rehomed to domestic life. The majority of Brumby supporters aresaddened by the high Brumby numbers being removed per the KNP management Plan, but we now have aKNP management plan that will retain a Brumby population of 3,000 in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP). Pictures of dismantled traps posted on social media recently by people will not result in further negation asthey wanted; instead, it just escalates emotive anti-brumby environmentalist’s calls to… Continue reading

ABA response to 4 Corner 21 Feb 2022 Program

“The battle over Australia’s brumbies intensifies in a clash of culture, colonialism and conservation” airedby Four Corners late February 2022 contained beautiful scenery and majestic wild Horses, views from sidesof the Brumby debate, but their focus on aggression hijacked the program’s attempt at “balance”. A responsible approach is to lower aggression through calm, rational debate around the SAME TABLE hasresulted in workable solution, such as for New Zealand’s Kaimanawa Heritage Horses management. Victoria’s Deer Control Strategy (VDCS) Vic 2020 long term vision is that: Deer are no longer significantlyimpacting on priority environmental, agricultural and Aboriginal cultural heritage values and public… Continue reading

Introduced species are animals too: why the debate over compassionate conservation is worth having

Wild horses roaming the Snowy Mountains have long been the subject of fierce debate. Some say they’re feral pests destroying Kosciuszko National Park’s fragile native ecosystem. Others argue they’re national icons and an important part of Australia’s colonial heritage. This issue was the subject of last night’s ABC Four Corners episode. But the current debate misses one crucial perspective: that of the wild horses, whose fate is being decided. This is a perfect example of why the new movement of compassionate conservation raises the question of the animals’ interests in debates about conservation. Compassionate conservationists ask whether it’s ethical to… Continue reading

What They Don’t Tell You About Wild Horses in the Environment  

ABA Autumn Newsletter OUT NOW !

In this edition President’s Chat Member News Why the debate over Compassionate Conservation is worth having Brumby reserve mooted as a solution in Kosi ABA response to 4Corners program Using Government guidelines to define sustainable Brumby populations Continue reading

Kosciuszko Brumby Traps Sabotaged

ABA Media Release – 10 March 2022 The ABA does not support behaviour, nor efforts to deny Brumbies, being trapped by National Parks andWildlife Services (NPWS), a chance to be rehomed to domestic life. The majority of Brumby supporters aresaddened by the high Brumby numbers being removed per the KNP management Plan, but we now have aKNP management plan that will retain a Brumby population of 3,000 in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP). Pictures of dismantled traps posted on social media recently by people will not result in further negation asthey wanted; instead, it just escalates emotive anti-brumby environmentalist’s calls to… Continue reading

ABA response to 4 Corner 21 Feb 2022 Program

“The battle over Australia’s brumbies intensifies in a clash of culture, colonialism and conservation” airedby Four Corners late February 2022 contained beautiful scenery and majestic wild Horses, views from sidesof the Brumby debate, but their focus on aggression hijacked the program’s attempt at “balance”. A responsible approach is to lower aggression through calm, rational debate around the SAME TABLE hasresulted in workable solution, such as for New Zealand’s Kaimanawa Heritage Horses management. Victoria’s Deer Control Strategy (VDCS) Vic 2020 long term vision is that: Deer are no longer significantlyimpacting on priority environmental, agricultural and Aboriginal cultural heritage values and public… Continue reading

Introduced species are animals too: why the debate over compassionate conservation is worth having

Wild horses roaming the Snowy Mountains have long been the subject of fierce debate. Some say they’re feral pests destroying Kosciuszko National Park’s fragile native ecosystem. Others argue they’re national icons and an important part of Australia’s colonial heritage. This issue was the subject of last night’s ABC Four Corners episode. But the current debate misses one crucial perspective: that of the wild horses, whose fate is being decided. This is a perfect example of why the new movement of compassionate conservation raises the question of the animals’ interests in debates about conservation. Compassionate conservationists ask whether it’s ethical to… Continue reading

Wild Equine Research Around the World

References

Austrheim, Gunnar and Eriksson, Ove, 2001, Plant species diversity and grazing in the Scandinavian mountains – patterns and processes at different spatial scales, Ecography 24: 683-695, Copenhagen 2001

Beavis, Sara, 2002, Horse Riding in Kosciuszko National Park, A report to Snowy Mountains Horse Riders Association, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University, Canberra

Beever, Erik, 2003, Management Implications of the Ecology of Free-Roaming Horses in Semi-Arid Ecosystems of the Western United States, Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006) Vol. 31, No. 3 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 887-895 (9 pages)

Beever, E.A. and Herrick, J.E. , 2006, Effects of feral horses in Great Basin landscapes on soils and ants: Direct and indirect mechanisms, Journal of Arid Environments Volume 66, Issue 1, July 2006, Pages 96-112

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

Connell, Joseph H., 1978, Diversity in Tropical Rain Forests and coral Reefs, Science, New Series, Vol. 199, No. 4335 (Mar. 24, 1978), pp. 1302-1310 (9 pages),  American Association for the Advancement of Science

Davies, KW, Boyd, CS, Bates, JD and Hulet, A 2015, ‘Dormant season grazing may decrease wildfire probability by increasing fuel moisture and reducing fuel amount and continuity’, International Journal of Wildland Fire 24: 849–856.

Davis, et al. (2011), Don’t judge species on their origins, 9 June 2011, Vol 474, Naturue, pp 153-154

Dobbie et. al., 1993, Managing Vertebrate Pests: Feral Horses, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra

Fahnestock, J.T., Detling, J.K. The influence of herbivory on plant cover and species composition in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, USA. Plant Ecology 144, 145–157 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009899509067

Fahnestock, Jace T., and Detling, James, 2002, Bison Prairie Dog Plant Interactions in North American Mixed-grass Prairie, June 2002, Oecologia 132(1):86-95

Fortwangler, Crystal, 2013, Untangling Introduced and Invasive Animals, Environment and Society: Advances in Research 4 (2013): 41–59

Gilfedder, L., and Kirkpatrick, J.B., 1994, Climate, Grazing and Disturbance, and the Population Dynamics of Leucochrysum albicans at Ross, Tasmania, Australian Journal of Botany 42(4) 417 – 430

ITRG 2016, Final report of the Independent Technical Reference Group: Supplementary to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management Plan, report by the Independent Technical Reference Group to the Office of Environment and Heritage NSW, Sydney.

Linkletter, Wayne L., et al.,2000, Social and spatial structure and range use by Kaimanawa wild horses (Equus caballus: Equidae), New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2000) 24(2): 139-152

Nimmo, Dale Graeme and Miller, Kelly K., 2007, Ecological and human dimensions of management of feral horses in Australia: a review, Wildlife Research, 2007, 34, 408–417, CSIRO Publishing

Ostermann-Kelm, Stacey D. et al., 2009, Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment, BMC Ecology 2009, 9:22,  This article is available from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6785/9/22

Pickering, Catherine, et al., 2001, Estimating human-mediated dispersl of seeds witin an Australian protected area, August 2011 Biological Invasions 13(8):1869-1880  DOI: 10.1007/s10530-011-0006-y

Quinn, Adda, 2004, Environmental Aspects of Horses on Trails, American Trails website, https://www.americantrails.org/resources/environmental-aspects-of-horses-on-trails

Redfearn, Sally-Anne, et al., 2011, Detecting stream health impacts of horse riding and 4WD vehicle water crossings in South East Queensland: and event based assessment, Griffiths University October 2011

Rogers, G.M., 1991, Kaimanawa Feral Horses and their Environmental Impacts, New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1991) 15(1): 49-64

Schultz, Nick L., et al., 2011, Effects of grazing exclusion on plant species richnessand phytomass accumulation vary across a regionalproductivity gradient, Journal of Vegetation Science22(2011) 130–142

Silvers, L 1993, ‘The effects of grazing on fuel loads and vegetation in the Barmah Forest’, Honours thesis, School of Environmental and Information Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW.

Snowy Scientific Committee, 2008, Adequacy of environmental releases to the Snowy River, Report No. 1 Prepared for the Water Ministerial Administration Corporation, October 2008, Canberra

Stroh, Peter A., et al., 2012, The potential for endozoochorous dispersal of temperate fen plant species by free-roaming horses, Applied Vegetation Science Vol. 15, No. 3 (August 2012), pp. 359-368

Verbrugge, Laura, 2016, Metaphors in Invasion Biology:  Implications for Risk Assessment and Management of Non-Native Species, September 2016 Ethics Policy & Environment 19(3):1-12

Williams, Richard, et al., 2014, Alpine ecosystems, in Biodiversity and Environmental Change (CSIRO Publishing, 2014)

Willig, M.R. , et al., 2018, Latitudinal Gradients of Biodiversity: Pattern, Process, Scale, and Synthesis, Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Vol. 34:273-309 (Volume Publication date November 2003) First published online as a Review in Advance on July 11, 2003

Zalba, Sergio M., and Cozzani, Natalia C., 2004, The impact of feral horses on grassland bird communities in Argentina, Animal Conservation (2004)7, 35–44, The Zoological Society of London.

Comments are closed.