Central Australian traditional landowners have warned they are planning to cull more wild horses after rangers shot 55 struggling animals last week and found dozens already dead.
The Central Land Council Aboriginal rangers found 90 dead and dying brumbies at a dried-up waterhole about 20 kilometres from the remote Santa Teresa community.
The CLC also wants to undertake an aerial cull of another 120 horses, donkeys and camels it says are dying of thirst near another remote community and are in too poor a condition to help.
Central Australia is in the midst of an extreme record-breaking heatwave with temperatures above 40 degrees for more than a fortnight.
Horses and other feral and native animals are dying of thirst and hunger because of normally reliable water sources drying up.
Areas overpopulated by feral animals also suffer erosion and vegetation loss.
There is a large population of brumbies in the Northern Territory that is descended from introduced domestic horses that strayed or were let loose in Australia by English settlers.