News from the Alps – Spring Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to another great issue of  News from the Alps . As always its full of Alps related goings-on and interviews: from moon landings to horse monitoring; taming water to strategic planning; and a feature on managing the Alps landscapes ‘then and now’.

This issue marks the Dr Who-like handover – from old to new – of the managers who co-ordinate delivery of the Alps program. You can also find the answers for the crossword from issue #64 if it has been driving you crazy trying to solve it.

Have a read and feel free to pass it on to friends and colleagues. Then check out the complete set of back issues here. Enjoy!



Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 for the Australian Alps national parks Co-Operative Management Program

The Alps Strategic Plan 2019-22 was endorsed by the Australian Alps Liaison Committee at its last meeting in June 2019. The Plan sets the framework for the Alps program for the next 3 years establishing the vision and mission and reflecting the current on ground priorities for the Alps program within the theme of ‘People Working Together’ and the 4 key core value areas of Environment; Cultural Heritage; Connecting People; and Program Management. The new Strategic Plan can be found here: Strategic Plan 2019-2022 for the Australian Alps national parks Co-Operative Management Program – 2019

2019 Aerial Horse Survey

In Autumn 2019, the Australian Alps Co-operative Management Program will be working with Parks Victoria and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to conduct an aerial wild horse survey in the Australian Alps. The purpose of this survey is to produce an estimate of horse populations in the  surveyed areas and the change in numbers since the last survey in 2014. The Alps Program has previously coordinated surveys in 2001, 2003, 2009 and 2014, so this will be the latest in a long running monitoring program that has provided valuable information to land managers, scientists and other stakeholders.

For more information or questions:  Project Overview and FAQ

Introduced Deer Field Identification Guide for the Australian Alps

Feral deer are now very common and increasing in abundance across the Australian Alps.  Introduced Deer Field Identification Guide for the Australian Alps was produced by Dr Andrew Claridge in 2016 with support from the Australian Alps Program. It is divided into 3 section:  a profile of 5 species of deer; a focus on their ecological impact; and the final section shows how to read deer sign in the wild. It’s a great companion for anyone with an interest in feral deer.






Alpine Sphagnum bogs and associated fens occur in alpine and subalpine parts of Australia and are federally listed as endangered ecological communities. These peatlands provide many benefits such as water filtration at catchment sources. They also provide breeding habitat for endangered species such as Corroboree frogs. Peatlands are small, fragmented and can be damaged easily. Increasing fire frequency has been of particular concern for land managers. The methods used to successfully restore peatlands after fire rely on unknown stocks of plant material surviving in the peat after fire. When our research began it was unclear whether soil seed banks formed in these communities, or how they might affect regeneration of the plant community.

In this report Guja and Brindley have investigated 13 bog and fen plant species to find out whether their seeds can form soil seed banks, and how their germination might be affected by burial. They found that the seeds of most of these species were still viable after burial for multiple growing seasons and could germinate under particular conditions detailed on the next page. Land Managers can use these findings to inform restoration practices for key plant species in degraded alpine peatlands.

Seed persistence in soil – seed bank of sub-Alpine Bogs and Fens – Full report June 2017


Happy Birthday everyone.  It’s truly wonderful to see that the Australian Alps nation parks #55CoverCo-operative Management Program is now marking its 30th year.  To celebrate, we’ve crammed this issue of News from the Alps with stories from every perspective.  Discover just how politically challenging it was in 1986 to get a cross border co-operative management agreement over the line.  Skip down memory lane with a few past Program Managers and be inspired by the story of the Australian Alps Walking Track.  There’s lots to see and enjoy in this souvenir edition, and it all celebrates a visionary decision made three decades ago.


Australian Alps Climate Futures – Summary ReportAANP Logo Only

The recent Australian Alps Climate Futures Forum was run as part of the Science Management Series under the auspices of the Australian Alps national parks Co-operative Management Program.  The science management forums are supported and partnered with the IUCN/WCPA through the Mountains Specialist Group which has a focus on conservation, management and protection of mountain protected areas globally. Over 60 people attended from a wide range of backgrounds including protected area managers, researchers, agency experts and alpine ecologists.  Download the Climate Futures report 2016 here.  Updated Aug 2016

Latest Feral Horse Reports

By Grahamec - Own work, GFDL,

Two new reports are released today, May 4th 2016.  The reports investigate both the estimated numbers of horse in the Australian Alps and the impacts of these populations of alpine landscapes.  A summation of both reports can also be accessed under the Australian Alps Factsheet : Wild Horse management

Read the Aerial Survey and the Impact Assessment

New Publication – Protected Area Governance and ManagementPAGM_Thumb1

Protected Area Governance and Management presents a compendium of original text, case studies and examples from across the world, by drawing on the literature, and on the knowledge and experience of those involved in protected areas. The book synthesises current knowledge and cutting-edge thinking from the diverse branches of practice and learning relevant to protected area governance and management.  This book is proving very popular with over 22600 free downloads so far.

Editors: Graeme L. Worboys, Michael Lockwood, Ashish Kothari, Sue Feary and Ian Pulsford.  Download free PDF or purchase harcopy  here

Snowy Scheme site rehabilitation report

Rehabilitation of former Snowy Scheme sites in KNP image

Ten years of restoration work at 200 sites within Kosciuszko National Park – sites damaged  during the construction of Australia’s most iconic hydroelectric scheme – is showing substantial progress and is contributing to the protection of the parks internationally significant ecosystems.

Read the report

NEW – Australian Alps book (Second edition)

Australian Alps | Kosciuzko, Alpine and Namadgi National parks book coverThis new updated version of the original book published in 1998 is a must for students, agency staff, alpine history buffs, adventurers, naturalists and anyone one who has a love and passion for the Australian Alps.  A fascinating guide to Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks, it introduces the reader to Australia’s highest mountains, their climate, geology and soils, plants and animals and their human history.

The Alps Partnership

Mountain pygmy possum | Jon Harris photography In 1986, with the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), NSW, Victoria, ACT and Australian government national park authorities formally agreed the national parks in the Australian Alps should be managed cooperatively to protect the area’s special character. Through this spirit of cooperation the Australian Alps Liaison Committee (AALC) was formed to ensure that the parks and reserves in the Alps are managed as one biogeographical entity to protect them for generations to come.
Learn more about how the area is managed