Kakadu National Park Local animals vs. Introduced Species
Kakadu National Park This is the famous World Heritage site; Kakadu National Park
Background of Kakadu National Park • The Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia. • It is the 2nd largest national park in the world, covers nearly 20,000 square kilometres. • The national park was originally an area of where the tribes of Aborigines lived for over 50,000 years, their shelters and belonging have been left there. • In 1984, the park was gained recognition as cultural and ecological treasure. • At this world heritage site; there are over 10,000 species of animals living within.
Native Flora • There are many flora found in the Kakadu National Park; in fact there are over 2,000 recorded plants. • These plants have created Kakadu’s geological landforms and habitation diversity. • Kakadu is named to be one of the most ‘weed-free’ national parks of the world! • In the estuaries and tidal flats over 47 species of mangroves grow. • Floodplains are home to the types of grass, sedges and waterlilies. • Forest and woodland are found in the lowlands; with expanses of virgin eucalyptus trees. • There are also many types of grass that can well adapt to the extremely hot dry conditions.
Native Fauna • There are many different kinds of animals living within the Kakadu National Park. • These animals are part of the natural food chain and have lived here for a long time • In fact, there are over - 280 species of birds - 60 species of native mammals - 55 species of freshwater fish - thousands of species of insects and many more!!
Introduced Species • Introduced species means when different species have been moved from their native environment and adapted to a foreign land. • There are some introduced fauna living within the Kakadu National Park such as; the cane toad. • Other species include; buffalos, cattle, horses, European bees, house geckos etc. • There are also introduced species; about 34 plant species have been recorded to be introduced. • Some of these plants include; buffel grass.
Introduced Species and the National Park • Some of the introduced species are quite harmful to the environment. • For example; the buffel grass were introduced to rehabilitate areas that were exposed to erosion. But now it has become the most threatening weed in Kakadu; spreading to water and preventing the growth of native grasses. • Buffalos were introduced and due to their sheer size, weight and hard hooves have compacted the soil and caused erosion.
Government Initiatives • There are many committees that have been established by the government to keep introduced species under control. • For example; the Australian Weeds Committee has achieved to reduce the damage done by weeds. • Another example is the Pest Animal Control which reduces the impact done by pest in a humane and effective way.
Kakadu National Park Solutions • There are no easy solutions to keep the introduced species/ feral animals under control. • Most likely the solutions would be to rely on the government committees that specialise on controlling the damage done humanely.
Anna Ong Class; 9GC