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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Greybeard, Sep 10, 2018.
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Deleted, off topic.
Don't feed it
Hmmm... I guess the difference between a great forum and a mediocre forum is in the content of the debates..
Meanwhile, back in the real world. Apparently yer don’t need horses or mega fauna to cause erosion. Just an un-grazed high fuel load and a bit of fire...
““...It's been 12 months since the Orroral Valley bushfire — which spanned 80,000 hectares and saw the ACT enter a state of emergency — destroyed 80 per cent of Namadgi National Park...
...Catie Pidgeon, who coordinates the environmental recovery response, said heavy rainfall had also resulted in large amounts of sediment erosion.
"A lot of the sediment will end up down into our waterways which causes issues for aquatic species," Ms Pidgeon said.
“When sediment is carried down it doesn’t leave any nutrient load or the Seedbank and so there’s less regeneration occurring.”
Rangers are monitoring some of those species and the impacts of sediment loads into waterways.
"One particular area we've been focused on is our alpine bog and fen communities, which are very fragile in nature," Ms Pidgeon said.
"Most of our bogs were subjected to burns so we've done a lot of work trying to protect and remediate those areas."...””
I think It is incredibly important to have discussions and opinions that come from both sides of the fence. If we don't, we are at risk of becoming another echo chamber like the dozens of Facebook groups patting each other on the back for burying their heads in the sand.
Having said that, here is an open invitation to anyone on this forum who wants to see the parts of the high country that are being discussed relentlessly in this thread. I will drive you out there from Canberra, walk you through the plains and show you where to fill up your water bottles etc. And the best part is that I wont utter a single word. Ill let you make up your mind for yourself. No science, no bias, no opinions, just clear as day proof of the situation. If more people who had these strong views actually visited these areas I doubt we would be going through the to and fro we are now.
Here is what you have to look forward to -
I've offered this before on other platforms and unsurprisingly no one has taken me up on it. I'm 100% serious. If you are keen let me know.
I don't need convincing, but since you're offering to take me on a guided walk...
Make Ski.com.au Great Again
I think there is still some miss-understanding re the now extinct Oz megafauna being brought to the discussion.
zapruda, perhaps you need to walk around the areas of Africa that still have extent megafauna to see what Australian water courses looked like when we still had mega fauna.
Would it confuse you if I told you that elephants and rhinos exert less pressure on the land per square centimetre than horses?
I don’t think there’s any miss-understanding that mega fauna and Africa are completely irrelevant to the the topic of removal of feral animals which includes horses from Alpine and other environments in Australian National Parks.
Gotta say, now that COVID is over, I've seen many more feral people with thousands of dollars of kit from BCF, than feral animals.
Can we cull them?
OK. perhaps you need to look at pictures of the creeks and water holes where African mega fauna are to be found. Nature is messy...
Run the scenario of a mob of African rhino’s walking across an Australian ‘bog’ site. Do you think they leave no impression ?
Next, run the scenario of a mob of the tusked Oz megafauna that they think used to dig up creek beds doing their thing.
Think about the fire fuel load available when there is herds of megafauna grazing the creek and water hole systems.
As far as I can see, any discussion about what is ‘natural’ in Oz needs to include the megafauna. And their potential proxy’s.
That didn't quite answer the question.
That would be because you cannot see far. Perhaps you are wearing blinkers such as some race horses do. I will not participate in any further discussion from you regarding megafauna which did not exist in Alpine areas apart from in your imagination. It appears that is all you have, so your value as a protagonist is over. I am not shutting down your involvement here, instead I am telling you I have no more interest in your ridiculous and unsubstantiated theories. If you provide something of substance (other than megafauna) then I will engage with you again.
So more 'whataboutism'.
Because you point out that the Australian alpine and sub alpine landscape experiences bushfires which lead to erosion and sedimentation (a fact that I don't believe most people on this forum thread would dispute) means that the issue of feral horses and their impacts can therefore be ignored and swept under the carpet??
By taking a logical extension of your 'whataboutism' approach then we should instruct our national park authorities to ignore controlling rabbits, deer, pigs and to ignore managing, regulating or mitigating the impacts of snowy hydro, 4wd, bushwalker use or any other contributing factor to erosion and sedimentation across the alps landscape as well ??
Oh, and before you try and play the 'grazing reduces blazing' card as I take you are also trying to imply this in your attached reference I suggest you do some further reading and research and look closely at the long term fire history of the Alps in that large landscape scale fires (1899,1924/26,1939, 1952 etc etc) all occurred across SE Australia including the Australian Alps even at the height of the cattle grazing era, and that much of the area currently occupied by feral horses also burnt in the last 2019/20 fire season.
18.104.22.168 Unplanned fire history the Park is an area that always has been and always will be subject to unplanned fires due to its geographic location, climatic conditions, vegetation and topography. However large unplanned fires in the alpine and subalpine areas are relatively rare (Scherrer et al, 2004, Mooney, 2004). Sharp (1992) and other studies (Zylstra 2006) divide the past 6 centuries into 4 main eras defined by fire. The period 1400-1600AD saw moderate frequency and scale of fires with a slight reduction during the Maunder Minimum (a cooler climatic period), the period 1600 to 1840 had low frequency and spread of fire, the period 1840 to 1955 saw high frequency fire and many large scale events, and the period post 1955 has again seen a reduction in fire frequency and spread (Zylstra 2006). Prior to the collection of the earliest reliable mapped records (1956) major fires in the Snowy Mountains occurred in 1876, 1879, 1895, 1899, 1920, 1924, 1926, 1933, 1935 and 1939 (Banks, 1989) and 1952 (Woodruff, 1977) with major fires occurring during drought and extreme fire weather conditions (Woodruff, 1977). At least 4 of these fires (1899, 1924/26, 1939 and 1952 were of similar scale or larger than the 2003 fires. Fires of this scale only occur when there are multiple ignitions across large areas generally preceded by drought conditions. In 1939 and 1952 these ignitions were escaped prescribed burns or accidental ignitions, and in 2003 they were produced by a series of dry lightning storms (Zylstra, 2006).
Sorry, the history and the science says otherwise.
What about the havoc done by the glaciers?
Never mind the glaciers - it’s the glacier worms that are the real problem - haven’t you seen Dune?
The 'grazing reduces blazing' theory has well and truly been debunked but held so tightly by the pro grazing group because there is little else. I was on Feathertop in 2003 when that dry storm hit and reported the fire at the base of Feathertop while heading down Diamantina spur. The number of strikes was incredible and the number of fires started made it impossible for authorities to work out which where the priority was to put out first. Cattle were still on the Bogong High Plains at the time. Now we are to believe 100 horses can reduce a fuel load sufficiently to effect the spread of fire. Perhaps some study of the facts would show grazing (and the associated autumn unnatural burns) contributed to the ferocity of fires. Wouldn't that be ironical. What is known, a small number of horses can do a huge amount of damage to waterways.
Another exclusion plot being constructed (this very day) on BHP in some sensitive vegetation area between Cope Hut and Langford West. More about the deer than horses.
Saw the Parksvic ranger and comtractors up there on Friday on my way back down from a quick overnighter to Timms Spur. Ranger agreed it’s been the wettest summer in years. There’s also been some good anti-erosion work happening.
I finished my thesis under (Scott) Mooney. Lovely guy.
Where do I say things shouldn’t be managed ? I have touched on the subject in prior posts.
Introducing large megafauna carnivore proxy’s is not possible so the herbivore megafauna proxy’s need human management.
And the glacial giraffes. Bloody nightmare.
Moving boulders around, grinding some up! Making Lakes.
Horses do very little damage in comparison to a Glacier!
My reference from #1911: “Think about the fire fuel load available when there is herds of megafauna grazing the creek and water hole systems.”
In dry times herbivores tend to congregate about where the greenest pick and water is to be found. If you take the megafauna of Africa as an example you will note that all tracks ‘lead to Rome’ - the local water hole. During droughts, the local water hole becomes a denuded and very low fuel load area of what is otherwise a very flammable landscape.
My understanding is that before humans, back in the megafauna days, parts of Oz were subject to mega fires. Humans turned up and the landscape became, in the main, one that were regularly burned with very infrequent mega fires. Climate had its impact as well. That were all turned on its head back in the early 1800’s and we are now seeing the return of the mega fires though without the megafauna buffer.
It's probably the dik diks
What really conerns me is the Bogong moths - leaving huge cracks and caves!
They’ve even invaded Parliament- traitors!
Got any research or evidence to support your ‘understanding’ ??
Feral glaciers though, they just rock up every 80,000 or 100,000 or whatever years and just go renting shit asunder nilly-nilly. I really only support native glaciers.
If you allow the dominance of these so called ‘herbivore megafauna proxy’s’ as you like to paint them you may as well introduce the large megafauna carnivore proxy’s as well, and really stuff what is left of the native flora and fauna and ecosystems. You still have not explained or reasoned your total disregard for the native flora, fauna and ecosystems that the experts tell us are likely to be pushed to permanent accelerated extinction by allowing herbivore mega fauna proxy’s to continue there rise to dominance.
Nah, popping an irritating “” after each of his posts is all he needs.
Forget the research and peer reviewed science, just go with the gut feel and limited reading materials. That’s all someone needs these days to become a self appointed expert on any topic
Joe is still trying to process that response. Not the sharpest tool in the thread.
The power of the midget antelope is equal to two African swallows and a club footed badger
I was at Cowombat Flat last week. Friends of the Cobberas have fenced off some plots so that brumbies can't graze them so you can measure the difference between brumby grazing and no brumby grazing. I think that the results speak for themselves.
So a very clear(haha)reduction in fuel loads!
Maybe we could introduce some moar species!
Yeah, pretty compelling isn’t it. Unfortunately many pro feral horse activists just see the inside of those exclosures as threatening ‘fuel load’ that needs to be reduced, and the outside as the ideal European park like setting that they desire. Anyone who wants more info on the long term floristics and drainage line monitoring of those Cowombat plots can find it here:
Very informative, thanks!
I go back again to my area of interest in removing ALL feral animals from KNP but specifically those destructive brumbies/horses.
Corroboree Frogs - they need to be saved and their habitat needs to be saved from feral animals destruction. https://taronga.org.au/donate/corroboree-frog-appeal
Action Plan for NORTHERN Corroboree Frog - https://www.environment.act.gov.au/...rn_Corroboree_Frog_Action_Plan_-_Combined.pdf
Action plan for SOUTHERN Corroboree Frog https://www.environment.gov.au/reso...thern-corroboree-frog-pseudophryne-corroboree
and to finish the reading off here is the CSIRO - published March 2019 of feral horses and their impact on the Corroboree Frogs. https://www.publish.csiro.au/WR/WR18093
Just in case you wanted more information on these delightful frogs - National Action Plan
Implement control measures to reduce the abundance of feral animals that cause damage to corroboree frog habitat.It is important for the conservation of corroboree frogs that the abundance of feral pigs and horses is maintained at levels where impacts to breeding habitat are negligible. This has been successfully achieved for pigs throughout much of the distribution of corroboree frogs, and for horses in areas occupied by the SCF,and southern Brindabella NCF population in the ACT. It is critical that this work is continued, in particular, ensuring that horses are prevented from colonising the broader Jagungal Wilderness Area where remnant SCF populations occur. There is an immediate need for increased feral animal control in Northern Kosciuszko National Park where horses are causing substantial environmental damage in and around NCF breeding habitat (D. Hunter, B. Scheele, R. Pietsch, W. Osborne pers. obs). This has been identified as a priority action in the Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park (NSW OEH2008).
Recent obs from Gungartan- Kerries Ridge region in the Jagungal Wilderness area. Did not spot 1 horse over 2 days and barely any horse poo at all. These bogs and Fens are extremely sensitive. The dark green growth is Sphagnum Novazelandicum which is much less prolific than the lighter green growth ( Sphagnum Cristatum ? ) You can see how the plant cant deal with the silty granite areas and seeks out the good soil .
Did you visit and observe in the upper Valentines/Tin Hut/Brassys area? The reason I ask is that last winter (mid July) there were numerous horse diggings along the Brassys, and a group of nine horses camped (large piles of poo, been there a while) a couple of hundred metres from Tin Hut. Curious to know if they stayed up high through summer or not.
Yes. Walked in to Tin Hut direct from Gungartan Pass. Then over the plains beyond the hut and up the Brassies to Big Brassy Peak - returning via the Brassy ridgetops . Later we took a direct line from Tin Hut to Gungartan peak and down Dissapointment Ridge. No horses spotted and very little horse poo .
From SMH this morning
NSW's Deputy Premier John Barilaro says sections of the Kosciuszko National Park should be free of feral horses and overall numbers should be cut to as low as 600, a dramatic shift from his previous positions.
“We must reduce the number of brumbies, whether it’s down to 600, 1000, or 3000," Mr Barilaro told the Herald, adding that “there are parts of the park that should have zero horses".
Feral horses at Long Plain near Kiandra, from last November. The latest count suggests numbers in the park may have fallen although researchers say they remain unsustainably high for the delicate alpine ecosystems of the Kosciuszko National Park.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
Mr Barilaro made the comments ahead of the release of the government's latest count of horses in the park. "We’ve seen a lot of brumbies lost to drought and bushfires," he said.
The latest spring survey, obtained by the Herald, show the numbers of the animals totalled more than 14,000 compared with 19,000 a year earlier. Environment Minister Matt Kean attributed the drop to effects of bushfire and drought, movement of animals out of the park, and a smaller survey region
Fck me, isn't this exactly where we where in 2016 before Barilaro fcked everything.
Can't wait to see the reaction to this about face from Barilaro from the horsey folk - they gon be m4d.
Got to be all about that polling - with so many people gunning for Barrilaro, the recent press coverage of the issue, and his own recent cock-ups his own position is now precarious, and so the policy has become politically untenable.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out - including in Victoria.
Wow. Big political shift.
Polling must be interesting.