Kakadu National Park By Shivonny Aranas, 9GT
Brief background of the Kakadu National Park The name “Kakadu” comes from the mispronunciation of “Gaagudju”, which is the name of an Aboriginal language formerly spoken in the northern part of the park. The Aborigines have occupied the area continuously for about 40 000 years. It is known for the richness of it’s Aboriginal cultural sites. Kakadu is biologically diverse. It stretches over 20,000 square kilometres.
Explanation of Native flora and fauna and how it helps nourish and preserve the national park. Flora Fauna The native fauna in Kakadu national park are quite diverse as the natural terrain in which animals habituate in supports many different species may it be mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish or invertebrates. The faunas in Kakadu national park help nourish and preserve the park by being placed in areas where they are not harmed by humans. • The native flora in Kakadu is exceptionally rich– in fact it’s the most riches in Northern Australia. There are about 1700 plant species recorded thus far. The flora in Kakadu is quite rich due to the geological, landform, the diversity of the habitat of the park. • The flora in Kakadu helps the national park nourish and preserve the park by being under protective conditions.
A detailed analysis of Introduced species. • There are approximately, (as of 2001) 2,000 plus introduced species that arealso known as “Invasive species” since they were originally not welcomed in Australia. These invasive speciesare quite problematic as they are a danger to the native fauna and flora in Australia. • The introduced fauna and flora seem to spread quickly around Australia and damage the ecosystem as the native species of Australia can’t possibly cope with the sudden change of environment or the different and foreign species. • Because of the invasive species, the native species are unfortunately reducingor decreasing in numbers to the point where some species are labelled as “endangered”.
How introduced species have damaged the national park with specific reference to local flora and fauna. The mimosa pigra is one of many introduced species that are causing issues and problems to the national park as it takes over flood plain and is currently covering over an estimates amount of 80 000 ha of the ‘Top End’ of Kakadu National Park. Introduced fauna such as the Asian Water Buffalo and pigs have also been identified as species that damage the wetlands of the national park. They make the area susceptible to weeks and ruin the natural balance of the area. The floating grass maps, for example are ruined by the Asian Water Buffalo as it creates swim channels between those maps. The floating grass maps generally act as barriers for fresh water and when they are damaged, the fresh water escapes faster than it usually would’ve, leaving the salt water to intrude and possibly ruin the environment.
There are two ways (but many more) that can overcome the problems of introduced species. • The conventional control includes methods such as fencing, trapping, baiting and shooting the introduced species. • The other way is by biological control which is the control of pests by natural predators, parasites, disease carrying bacteria or viruses. This method has killed 90% of the introduced species. What have been some government initiatives to help overcome the problems of introduced species The Government have been doing a lot to overcome the problems of introduced species and preserve Kakadu National Park.
List possible solutions to assist the Kakadu national park overcome this problem • Have a thorough check of those who enter the National Park to ensure that there are no introduced type of species with them that could possibly harm the natural species. Even food such as fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be taken into the park as they can contain insects or pests. • Clean everything you have possession of or that may have made contact with a specific area before entering another to avoid something similar as ‘cross-contamination’ to remove anything that might affect another or damage it.
Bibliography http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakadu_National_Park http://www.kakadu.com.au http://www.abs.gov.au http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/ferals/index.html