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NSW plan for Kosciuszko feral horses a threat to endangered freshwater fish
Horse numbers will be reduced overall but retained in area around Tantangara Creek, the only known habitat for the stocky galaxias.

A New South Wales government plan to control feral horses in Kosciuszko national park will allow horses to remain in the only known habitat of one of Australia’s most imperilled freshwater fishes and risks pushing the species closer to extinction.

Conservationists say allowing horses to continue to roam around some sections of the park will put vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems at risk.

They include the stocky galaxias, a fish that was listed as critically endangered last year following the 2019-20 bushfires and was recently named as one of 100 priority animals in the Morrison government’s new threatened species strategy.

The fish is one of the 22 most endangered freshwater species in Australia.

Under the final NSW management plan, feral horses will be retained in the area around Tantangara Creek, which for years has been the only known habitat for the stocky galaxias.

The final plan, released late last month after years of deadlock, would see horse numbers reduced from about 14,000 to 3,000.

It would remove horses entirely from some areas but they would still be able to roam 32% of the park.

The main threat to the survival of stocky galaxias is invasive trout but feral horses are also listed as a key pressure because of damage they cause to its habitat, including breeding sites, by causing silt and mud to flow into streams.


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Posted on: December 7, 2021, 6:27 pm
Post ID: 968

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