Barmah Strategic Action Plan

Parks Victoria released the Strategic Action Plan: Protection of floodplain marshes in Barmah National Park and Barmah Forest Ramsar site [2020-2023] on Friday 21 February 2020. The plan outlines a four-year program to address threats in the Barmah Forest and protect it for current and future generations.

In October 2023, the plan was extended through to June 2024, pending a review to assess progress towards the threat management objectives and conservation outcomes it outlines.

The review will be completed by 30 June 2024, and guide future management. Current actions outlined in the Strategic Action Plan will continue be delivered until the review is complete.

Barmah Forest supports nearly 300 native species of birds, fishes, reptiles, frogs and other animals and more than 500 native plant species. This includes endangered or vulnerable species such as: Australasian bittern, Superb parrot, Murray cod, Silver perch, Trout cod, Mueller daisy and Swamp wallaby grass. This plan will better protect the ecosystem that supports these species in the internationally significant wetland areas.

The plan has been developed following extensive consultation with government agencies like Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, as well as Traditional Owners, community members, environmental groups and other stakeholders.

Major threats to the Barmah wetlands will be addressed by proposed changes to flooding regimes, through the removal of feral horses and other invasive animals, and through control of invasive plants.

The impacts of feral horses on wetland areas in the park are considered large-scale, and long-lasting. Horses degrade the wetlands through grazing, trampling vegetation, dispersing weed seeds, disturbing the soil and creating openings for weed invasion and enriching nutrient levels.

Expert input has been provided in development of the plan by specialists in veterinary science, natural resource management, animal welfare and horse behaviour.

In response to strong community feedback regarding improving opportunities for rehoming of horses, Parks Victoria has been facilitating trapping and re-homing where feasible, safe and humane to do so, and where there has been sufficient demand from organisations or individuals that can suitably care for the captured horses. Read about the rehoming process, and how to submit an expression of interest.  

The Strategic Action Plan has been extended through to June 2024 to continue improving the health of the floodplain marshes of Barmah Forest within Barmah National Park. 

Parks Victoria will be conducting an evaluation of the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan [2020-2023] between July 2023 and July 2024. The outcomes from the evaluation will be used to refine the current conservation strategies outlined in the plan and guide future operational priorities.

Download a copy of the Plan:

Strategic Action Plan: Protection of floodplain marshes in Barmah National Park and Barmah Forest Ramsar site [2020-2023] (PDF)

Strategic Action Plan: Protection of floodplain marshes in Barmah National Park and Barmah Forest Ramsar site [2020-2023] (accessible document)


Parks Victoria would like to thank everyone who provided feedback on the Draft Strategic Action Plan.

To view the engagement summary report visit:



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