By: Nauman Azad Kakadu National Park
Background Information On Kakadu National Park In 1984 Kakadu National Park gained its World Heritage Listing and the area achieved international recognition as a cultural and ecological treasure. Kakadu is one of the few sites on the World Heritage List of both outstanding cultural and natural values by representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes and superlative natural phenomena and for unique artistic achievements and association with living traditions of outstanding universal significance. The park is located in the tropical north of Australia, 252 kilometres east of Darwin, covering a total area of 19,000 square kilometres. The flood plains of Kakadu are a series of interacting ecosystems which continue to evolve in their natural setting, and with minimum human disturbance. The park contains important and significant habitats for a diverse range of flora and fauna, with more than 50 species of mammals, 280 species of birds, 123 species of reptiles, 77 species of freshwater fish and 10,000 species of insects.
Flora And Fauna • The range of flora in Kakadu is diverse. As you travel through Kakadu you will notice the wide range of landscapes, which allow a richness of plants. Some plants are restricted to small areas and others are found throughout the Park. • The diverse environments of Kakadu National Park support an astonishing array of animals, a number of which have adapted to particular habitats. Some animals in the Park are rare, endangered, vulnerable or endemic. Responding to the extreme weather conditions experienced in the Park, many animals are active only at particular times of the day or night or at particular times of the year.
Introduced Species In Kakadu National Park • Feral animals introduced into Kakadu National Park are Asian water buffalo, cattle, pigs, horses, donkeys, cats, dogs, rats, mice, house geckos and European bees. Cane toads were recorded in Kakadu for the first time in early 2001. • The management objective for feral animals in Kakadu is to limit, as far as possible, their adverse effects on the environment while taking into account the views and economic interests of traditional owners.
Changes Made By Introduced Species • 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. They also dig up areas in their search for food and compete directly with magpie geese and Aboriginal people for bulbs that grow along the wetland shores. The ground they expose is vulnerable to weed infestation-pigs are thought to be the main agents of spreading the weed mimosa through the park.
Possible Outcomes • Kill all the introduced species • People don’t poison the animals, so camera and other security devices.