Lifestyle

YOUR SAY: Should the brumbies be removed from Fraser Island?

WITH the discovery that a small number of brumbies still roam on Fraser Island, the community had a clear message for the State Government: leave the horses alone.

A spokeswoman from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said the continued presence of brumbies on the island had first been discovered in January 2014.

The island has about 35 motion activated cameras on the island, intended to record dingo behaviour and provide information about interaction between dingoes.

The cameras captured footage of two horses in the northern area of the island.

Then this month, the QPWS received a report of eight feral horses that were allegedly sighted by a commercial tourism operator in an area north of Moon Point.

"But to date the QPWS has not been provided with the evidence to verify this sighting," the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman said removal of the horses from Fraser Island was being considered.

"The QPWS is considering options for the removal of the feral horses from the Great Sandy National Park in line with its management plan."

About 200 wild horses lived on Fraser Island in the 1900s after they were introduced in the 1800s.

But in the 1980s the horses were targeted for removal and in 2003, dozens were removed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The community wants the brumbies to say put on Fraser Island.
The community wants the brumbies to say put on Fraser Island.

Until recently it was assumed there were no horses left on the island.

The spokeswoman said a wild pig had also been seen on the footage.

Butchulla elder Mally Clarke said the horses should be left alone, especially as they could be a food source for dingoes.

Mike West, a member of the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Community Advisory Committee, said he had been involved with the initial removal of the horses from the island in 2003 and had made sure the horses would be relocated rather than culled.

He said he did not believe the horses should be removed from the island, saying it was likely that the small remaining population would die out eventually.

"They are very hard to catch," he said.

Mr West said it appeared unlikely the animals would breed to pest proportions again.

"It's just a matter of waiting for them to die out," he said.

He said culling the horses would make horse lovers and other members of the community irate.

Mr West said the concerns over the horses related to the damage they did to parts of the island, particularly pandanus palms, but with a small number the issue of damage was not a great concern.

Karin Kilpatrick from Save the Fraser Island Dingoes said she believed the brumbies should be left on the island.

She said there had been unpleasant encounters between the horses and tourists before the removal of the animals in 2003, with reports of people getting bitten while trying to feed the brumbies.

Ms Kilpatrick said the brumbies were in such a remote part of Fraser Island, and the population was so small, that it was unlikely tourists would encounter them.

What do you think? Should the brumbies stay on Fraser Island? Join the discussion and tell us below. 

Topics:  brumbies fraser island your say



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