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Kaimanawa horses effect to the environment
Transcript of Kaimanawa horses effect to the environment
An enclosure plot was installed 9/4/1989 in the kaimanawa ranges and the plot increased in size. There were increases in some of the native plant life and an increase in some of the weeds but downfall in other weeds. The control plot showed reductions in native plants and increases in weeds. Hares also had an effect on the plants without the horses to scare them away.
History and musters
The first wild horses were recorded in 1876 on kaimanawa ranges.
Around April each year a herd count is made by DoC using helicopters.
The horses are stressed out as they mainly trot down to the yards where they are sorted by age and gender.
After the muster most times the leftover horses are sent to the slaughterhouse but should be let free as DoC promised 500 horses but we are struggling to keep it at 300.
Most of the horses in the muster are stuffed in small pens and corrals and these are WILD horses so they have to be prepared for fights between stallions
DoC has the nerve to call these beautiful animals pests?
Well sorry but then shouldn't we be on the list too? Guess why? We have probably done mare damage to the environment than animals. We have 3(+ mine) options for the horses:
Option A: Retain the Present Horse Range.
Option B: Reduce the Current Range to a Southern Zone.
Option C: Move the Horses to a New Place.
My option:Leave them alone and start complaining about the biggest pest of all...US!!!
Since 1989 exclusion of the Kaimanawa feral horse has resulted in a loss of short tussock because of the long tussock blocking it from light and heat but a gain in red tussock. One of the plots made by DoC showed loss in hard and red tussock and an increase in native mat plants and weeds. The Horses use of a water hole in the tussock grassland in the Awapatu resulted in a loss of the density in hard and red tussock.
Tussock Grass land
The Wilson sisters
Horses grazing in the rare plant habitats meant that when the horses galloped brought in opportunities for weeds to grow in the ruts that they made. Native plants were wrenched from wet ground in upper reaches by grazing. Other native plants in places that were not preferred grazing by the horses were little modified.
Rare plant habitats
In the south Waikato near Lake Taupo there is a national park called the Kaimanawa ranges. In that national park there is a breed of horse that is only found in New Zealand. The Kaimanawa Wild horse. These beautiful horses have up until recent times been able to enjoy their freedom among the grasslands of the Central Plateau.
Eat the Wind
DoC calls these beautiful horses a pest. What determines a Pest? Man is responsible for introducing many of the pests we now have in the environment. However does it mean that they are truly a pest because if they were eradicated would the environment return to its natural pre-pest state? A balance is now what should be looked at because this is the role that the horses are now playing in this environment. They are controlling the influence of other pests in the environment.
Kaimanawa horses are known throughout New Zealand for their jumping abilities. Some have been entered in the New Zealand Pony of the year show jumping competition at HOY and won like Watch Me Move.
However by 1990s they were said to be inconveniencing the Army and threatening the survival of certain endangered plants in the area, which can apparently withstand damage from army tanks and vehicles, and from other grazing animals, but not from horses. In May 1996 the horses' Protected Status was removed and all horses were removed from the "ecologically fragile" Northern Ranges, and the herd size in the Southern Ranges drastically reduced "to protect the environment". The remaining horses left in the Kaimanawa Ranges have No Protected Status, meaning that they are at the mercy of the DoC and the Army.