Konik Ponies in Scottish Conservation
The Loch of Strathbeg reserve in Aberdeenshire Scotland has begun to use eight rare ‘Konick’ horses to manage and improve it’s wetland habitats for birds.
The breed is a direct descendent of the Tarpan, a wild forest horse driven to extinction in central Europe in the late 19th century. Hardier than their domestic cousins, konik horses can cope with harsh climates an forage in the wild.Their ability to graze on courser grass, sedges and rushes can also help boost biodiversity.
Previously the rank tussocky vegetation had to be artificially stripped away to ensure the wetlands remained in top condition. Now, thanks to the grazing habits of these horses, the machines can be ditched and an au naturel approach to habitat management adopted.
As a natural resource, the Konik horse offers conservationists a way of saving more wildlife for less money, saving charitable organisations and the tax payer alike thousands of pounds.