More than 10,000 wild horses will be shot in the Kosciusko Nature Reserve in southeastern Australia in the coming years. It is the culmination of years of debate over what to do with wild horses, which some experts consider a pest and others a cultural heritage.
“They ate everything away. It makes me so sad,” said Richard Swain, an Aboriginal guide in the national park. He’s been coming to the nature reserve for years and has seen how the number of horses has grown exponentially. When tourists see horses frolicking perfectly, they notice the devastation left by the animals.
Endangered local animals
There are at least 400,000 wild horses in Australia, the largest number of horses in the world. Kosciuszko, a nature reserve the size of one-third the size of the Netherlands, has more than 14,000 wild horses.
They cause erosion, spread weeds, and compete with native animals for habitat and food. So the state government recently decided to reduce the population to 3000 in the coming years, and the remaining animals are still allowed to run freely.
According to experts, this plan is not enough. There is no doubt among scientists: horses are an epidemic and they should all be shot. Professor James Pittock of the Australian National University in Canberra said: “There is no place for horses in this landscape. They are heavy animals, weighing an average of 400 kilograms. They trample native plants and destroy the habitats of endangered native animals.”
Endangered species in this area include the yellow and black striped frog, of which scientists believe only fifty to two hundred are left. or the udder, a small and unique possum of a species of lizard, and the alpine oak lark. A number of unique Australian flowers and herbs have also been threatened.
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