Kakadu By: Ada Rere
Kakadu Brief Background Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of 19,804 km2, extending nearly 200 kilometres from north to south. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland. The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive uranium mines in the world, is surrounded by but separate from the park.
Kakadu Flora and Fauna The plant and animal life in Kakadu is its greatest appeal for many visitors.And those with a particular interest in nature tend to schedule their holidays for the rainy season when the wildlife is at its liveliest. Birds arrive in their millions and fill the trees while for many of the 60 different species of mammal resident in the park. The waterfall benefit from the rain and are at their most spectacular at this time
Introduced species in Kakadu Introduced animals are species that have arrived from different countries or regions and established wild population often causing many problems in their environment within the park. They are recognised as the major factor in the extinction of native species of Central. Of the 27 mammal species found in the park, six are introduced : mice, foxes, camels, dogs and cats. Each of these animals has its own way of impacting on the environment within the park. You will noticed from the list, some animals are predators, and some are prey species. These animals interact within the natural food chain. Both introduced predator and prey species need to be controlled to protect the natural environment.
Damaged (introduced species) Issues with introduced species extend beyond the park boundary and effective control in the park depends on effective control programs outside of the park. Cooperation with neighbours and regional bodies is therefore recognised as being essential to reducing the impacts. In the park, camels have been implicated in the reduction of the plant species. Survey indicate an increase in the population of 10 per cent per year yet the opinions amongst Anangu regarding camel management such as culling is divided. Anangu see the need for reducing camel numbers in the park but there is debate as to the best way to do it.
Possible solutions Cane toads, swamp buffalo, feral pig. Some of the most visible wildlife in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park happens to be the rampantly successful progeny of feral animals introduced by European settlers from the 1820s onwards. Controlling then within this ecologically and culturally complex setting is the ongoing challenge.