These feral horses are called brumbies and have roamed wild since being turned loose by, or escaping from, the early colonisers. Australia’s constant struggle against introduced flora and fauna is well documented with two of the most infamous species being the European rabbit and cane toad. Australia has no native ungulates (with hooves) but many of the introduced species do have hooves. The importance of this is that the flora has not evolved coping mechanisms against hooves and so their rapid introduction over the past 200 or so years has decimated many native plants. Decreased vegetation removes food sources, affects the climate and, most importantly, turns arid regions into dusty wastelands as roots no longer tether the soil. Australia has the world’s largest wild population of camels (1,000,000) and horses (450,000). Opinions on alien species are polarised.
The obliging brumbies, soft light and archetypical eucalypts all combine to make this one of my favourite Australian compositions.