Kakadu National Park By: Aurangzeb Rana
Introduction Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator rivers in the Northern Territory which is approximately 171km south-east from Darwin. This park covers an area of 19,804 km squared which is as big as Slovenia. The Park is a world heritage site and is protected by its traditional owners the Aboriginal People. The word Kakadu came from the word “Gagudju” which is one of the Aboriginal Languages.
Kakadu Flora Kakadu is one of the most weed free national parks in the world with 1,700 plant species. • Only 5.7 per cent of recorded species are weeds. Since Kakadu is so big it has 7 different geographical formations which have their own plant species. Most of Kakadu is covered with grassland, wildflowers and a range of trees. Plants such as Mangroves are one of the main food supplies for the fauna. Approximately 39 out of 47 species feed on this plant.
Kakadu Fauna • Fauna in Kakadu is one of a kind because there are endangered and defenceless creatures which only come out in a particular time of day or season. Kakadu have over 68 mammals, 120 reptiles, 300 tidal fish species, over 10,000 species of insects and approximately 290 Birds. Many of the animals found in Kakadu respond to the extreme weather conditions of the six seasons by changing their behaviour and are seen only at particular times of the day or night or at particular times of the year.
Climate • Kakadu is located in the tropics, between 12° and 14° south of the Equator. The climate is monsoonal, characterised by two main seasons the dry season and the rain season. The build up describes the transition between the dry and the rain. During the dry season which is from April to September, dry southerly and easterly trade winds predominate. Humidity is relatively low and rain is unusual.
Introduced Species Well it may seem that species being introduced to Kakadu National park isn’t a negative aspect, however it is. Damaging the flora and fauna, is a major danger to this park as these animals are damaging this eco-cycle. Some examples are: • Cane Toad • Feral Water Buffalo • Saltwater Crocodile • Wild dogs • Pigs • Cane Toads etc.
Introduced Species; threats • Asian Water Buffaloes used to be one of the biggest contributors to damage Kakadu National Park, as it is obvious how much damage these huge animals can do. • Pigs cause damage to a broad range of Kakadu's habitats. They degrade the environment around springs and small rainforest patches, especially in the wet season. • Dogs that have become feral have some impact in that they interbreed with the dingo population in the park, changing the dingo gene pool
Governments Initiative The government have decided that they would support and help protect the native animals from the introduced species Some examples of Government Initiatives are: • Fence and wall around the introduced species • Giving funding to the national park to repair damages • Help with the maintenance of the Park • Hired experts to keep watch over introduced species
Solutions There are many solutions along side the Governments solution to these raging animals, some of which include: • To take all the endangered animals to a different location to allow them to breed and live without any danger • Sending them to Zoos. • Poison species is another common way, which is also very efficient and can save the park some money • Charge an entrance fee from tourist • Hire more staff which know how to handle these situations.