Feral horses that were left starving in last year's drought and bushfire emergency won't be cleared out of Guy Fawkes National Park in a cull that started yesterday.
Conservation group Coolong wilderness estimated last year there were over 2000 horses in the park, totally dominating the landscape.
Colong Foundation director Keith Muir said they will threaten to drive native animals extinct, cause erosion and ultimately die a far worse death without a cull.
During last year's drought the horses completely ate the park out, he said.
By October dozens of the horses had died with hundreds more starving.
But the animals won't be in the sights of helicopter-borne sharpshooters to be sent over the park this week, with a spokesperson from the National Parks and Wildlife Service declaring they will shoot only target foxes, cats, pigs, goats and deer.
When Mr Muir led a team into the park last October he saw things he wants to forget.
In a three day walk he saw 212 emaciated horses, 28 dead horses and 3 animals dying.
"It's a crazy situation," he said.
"If you reverse the situation and put it in the context of a farm, it'd be like if (you had) vast mobs of goats.
"And the farmer's not allowed to shoot the goats because the Minister's told him not to and all his cows haven't got anything to eat and they're forced to the edges of his farm.
"Nobody would put up with that for ten seconds but because rangers are public servants they have to."
In a statement, a spokesperson for the NSWPWS said they aim to conduct about four or five times their usual annual amount of aerial shooting.
Other methods such as trapping are being used to control feral horses consistent with the Guy Fawkes Horse Management Plan, they said
National Parks and Wildlife staff sent in teams last December and euthanised about 10 horses they found in distress.
But the last cull in Guy Fawkes National Park took place in 2000. Over three days, 606 horses were shot.
"Vast mobs of feral horses must be controlled by the only proven method there is, aerial shooting," he said.
"Enough of this every horse is sacred nonsense.
"The park is totally overrun by horses and effective control is needed right now as part of the fire recovery program."
He estimates the species represents about 90 per cent of all herbivores in the Guy Fawkes National Park.