A brumby on Fraser Island.
A brumby on Fraser Island.

Brumbies could be targeted for removal from Fraser Island

THE Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will consider options for the removal of the remaining brumbies on Fraser Island.

This week it was revealed that, after more than a decade of believing there were no brumbies left on the island, a small number of feral horses have been spotted on the northern part of the island.

A spokeswoman from the QPWS said the removal of the horses was in line with the island's management plan.

"Feral animal removal is part of that plan which aims to ensure Fraser's World Heritage values are protected for future generations," she said.

"Feral horses trample and damage vegetation, which can cause significant erosion.

"They can tear grass out by the roots, and they eat other plants such as pandanus.

"Vegetation loss and erosion impacts on the habitat and food available for other species."

The spokeswoman said horses could also spread weed seeds and that could have a major impact on protected areas such as national parks, including changes to the fire region.

"Many large feral animals such as horses can also have a negative impact on water supplies, potentially impacting on the amount and quality of water available for native animals and plants," she said,

"Also, a sand environment is not healthy for horses - they ingest a lot of sand as they eat ground-level plants."

The overwhelming response from the Fraser Coast community has been calls to allow the horses to stay on the island.

Butchulla elder Mally Clarke said the horses should not be taken off the island as they were a potential food source for the dingoes.