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Barrington Tops wild horses

PostPosted: Tue 01 Nov, 2016 3:03 pm
by phil robinson
Just returned from a fastpack up the Gloucester tops trail through to Barrington tops via the link trail , Barrington trail , careys peak trail , edwards swamp trail, and a few others. I covered roughly 100 kms in the 2 days with a very lightweight camping system. The country was very impressive with the antarctic beech forests, snow gums and peat bogs. I camped overnight at the Little Murray camp ground and was aroused in the middle of the night with a pack of horses eating metres from my tarp, during the run I saw at least 30 horses as well as numerous pigs and estimate that this was only the tip of the iceberg. It was hard not to be impressed by these beautiful animals but it was easy to see how much damage they are doing to the environment.I was baled up by a very impressive black stallion when i accidentally came between it and a mare with a brand new foal,it was snorting and stamping its foot, fortunately I was able to bluff it by waving my poles at it and it ran off.For those who aren't aware a large section of the park is infected by a water born organism which effects some of the plants, so the NPWS has quarantined the area. I wondered at the incongruency of having foot baths for humans to use yet allowing these feral animals to run wild. It made me wonder why sections of the park are out of bounds for people whose impact would be negligible compared to a pig or a horse making dust baths and making tracks all through the no go zones. It made me think the National sparks and wildfires aren't serious about the feral problem and simply don't want to maintain the large section of the park which is closed. I was also disappointed at how many trees had fallen over on the link trail and haven't been cleared, fortunately the horses had beaten good paths around most of these.Its such a beautiful park and deserves to be looked after.

Re: Barrington Tops wild horses

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2016 6:34 am
by Xplora
A favourite place of mine as well. Phytophthora root rot has been a problem there for a long time and it is being spread by the ferals but it seems the river may be inhibiting further movement. They have tried to control the horses in the past but came up against serious objection. Pig control has been ongoing but not effective. It is unusual for this bug to survive in the such cold conditions. I guess it is easier to control humans but even then I am sure many people ignore the signs. Most wild stallions will try to bluff you and you did the right thing. If you had walked away then it would have left you alone as well. The stallions around Falls Creek are quite different. I can get within a few metres of them even with a foal near. Big effort to do 50km each day. Happy not to be with you. As you said, it was a run. I have also done marathon training around there before they shut it down and camped at Little Murray.

Re: Barrington Tops wild horses

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2016 9:54 pm
by kjbeath
One risk they made consider with Phytophthora is that it will be spread by bushwalkers to other parks. I expect by now that most of the areas in the exclusion zone are now overrun with Scotch Broom anyway.