CANBERRA, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Australian federal, state and territory governments have joined forces to tackle threats of climate change and invasive species in the country's alps.
Tanya Plibersek, minister for the Environment and Water, recently announced the revival of the Alps Ministerial Council with her counterparts from New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
The body, which last met in 2010, allows the four governments to collaborate on managing the Australian Alps -- one of the country's most iconic and fragile landscapes spanning the three states and territories including the Kosciuszko National Park.
It came weeks after the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) warned in a submission to a senate inquiry that feral horses in the alps pose a significant extinction threat to six critically endangered animal species and at least two plants due to grazing pressure and damage caused by their hooves.
"We want to better protect our precious places and the plants and animals that call them home. This takes federal, state, and territory governments working together," Plibersek said in a statement on Friday.
"We have to act now to tackle serious threats like climate change and invasive species that are damaging fragile alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems and important plant and animal species."
The feral horse population in the Kosciuszko National Park bordering NSW and the ACT is estimated to have grown by more than 30 percent in the two years to about 18,814 in November 2022.
The NSW government has set a target of reducing the population to 3,000 in Kosciuszko by 2027, but heavy rains and abundant feed has created ideal breeding conditions. ■