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CAUGHT OUT: High tech cameras show horses running wild

An image of a feral horse on Fraser Island.
An image of a feral horse on Fraser Island.

A MOTION-ACTIVATED camera on Fraser Island has captured new evidence of the presence of feral horses on Fraser Island.

The horse was photographed on a trail camera at the northern end of Fraser Island and staff from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service downloaded the image in December.

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In July last year, the Chronicle revealed the Department of Environment and Heritage had evidence of the continued existence of a brumby population on Fraser Island, more than 10 years after it was believed the last horse had been removed.

At the time a spokeswoman from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said the continued presence of the brumbies had been discovered in January 2014.

Last year QPWS also received a report of eight feral horses that were allegedly sighted by a commercial tourism operator in an area north of Moon Point.

The sighting was reported to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on January 25.

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About 200 horses lived on the island in the 1900s after the animals were first introduced in the 1800s.

But the horses were targeted for removal and in 2003, dozens were removed by the Environmental Protection Agency and it was believed that all the horses had been taken off the island.

There are currently about 35 motion-activated cameras on the island which are used to record dingo behaviour and provide information about dingo interactions.

But the cameras have also captured other activity, including the feral horses and also images of a single feral pig on the island.

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A spokeswoman from QPWS said options for the removal of the feral horses from the Great Sandy National Park were still being considered in line with its management plan.

"A monitoring program was implemented with cameras installed at 10 locations in the island's north," she said. "Rangers also look for horse tracks and droppings in the course of their duties."
 

Topics:  brumbies fraser island



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