The number of wild horses in the Kosciuszko National Park has fallen in the past year, with drought and bushfires partly to blame.
The latest population survey of brumbies in the national park has revealed a little more than 14,000 live in the area.
That figure is down from the more than 19,000 of the wild horses recorded the previous year.
The survey was carried out between October and November in 2020, which revealed areas to the north of the national park had the highest population density of the horses.
According to the survey, the northern bock was "not significantly different" to the 2019 numbers.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said the survey's data reinforced the need to manage the wild horse population in the Kosciuszko area.
"I remain 100 per cent committed to managing the very sensitive area of the iconic Kosciuszko National Park on the basis of the best available science," Mr Kean said.
"We will always have wild horses in Kosci, but 14,000 is still too many.
"If we want to preserve this precious place and the plants and animals that call it home, we need to manage horse numbers responsibly."
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While the 2019 survey of brumby numbers focused on the whole of the NSW and Victorian Alps region, the 2020 report looked at just the Kosciuszko National Park.
In 2020, more than 340 of the horses were removed from the national park area through trapping and rehoming.
While the survey of horse numbers showed there were more than 14,000 of the brumbies in the national park, the survey said there was a potential range of between 8798 to 22,555 horses in the more than 2600 square-metre area.
Annual counts of brumby populations in the national park were agreed on by the NSW government following pressure from Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro.
Mr Barilaro had previously said wild horse numbers in Kosciuszko had been too high.
Brumby counts were previously carried out every four years.
Mr Kean said the survey results would help to inform a new management plan or brumbies in the area.
"We can now be confident that we have the most up-to-date data as we get the balance right, protecting the snowies and retaining the heritage value of these wild horses," Mr Kean said.
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