Kakadu National Park
By: Sunny Hothi
Kakadu National Park is Australia’s largest national park, as well as covering a total of 19, 804 kilometres squared. It has an abundance of wildlife, along with one of the richest natural environments on Earth. Kakadu has an abundant amount of biodiversity, with mixture of nocturnal, amphibian and normal animals. Kakadu has deep green forests, and is home to one of Australia’s most venerable indigenous peoples. It has deep blue waters, waterfalls, waterholes and many more. It has different reptiles such as Snakes and Crocodiles. kakadu has 2 types of weathers dry land where everything is dry with a bit of rain, and wetlands where most parts of the area is wet. Kakadu also has six seasons a year that dramatically change at different times of the year; January to March has ponderous rain, thunderstorms and flooding, April has seasons where there are windy and violent storms that knocks things down, May to June has cool wind with low humidity, July to August has cold weather with low humidity and, as a result creeks stop flowing and food plains dry out, September has hot dry weather with periods of swarming rain and October to December has storm seasons with hot weather.
Kakadu’s flora is unimaginable, with over 2000 species of plants. Kakadu is considered one of the most weed free national parks in the world. In Kakadu, flora is found everywhere and within 24 hours of rain, all the dead plants come back to life. Kakadu has 7 areas of flora with their own special ability; The stone Country, The southern Hills and basins, Lowland areas, the floodplains, Estuaries and The tidal flats. The Stone Country’s can cope with intense heat and torrential rain, The southern hills and basins have endemic plants that can only be found in Kakadu national park, The lowlands areas, are completely covered in woodlands with large range of grasses and wildflowers, The Estuaries have a populated amount of mangroves, which feed different species of fish and the tidal don’t grow any succulents, however many grasses and sedges grow.
In Kakadu the fauna discovered is history, with more than 68 species of mammals, more than 117 species reptiles, 26 species of frogs, over 300 species of tidal freshwater fish, more than 280 species of birds and over 10,000 species of insects. Out of the whole 10791 species of fauna, 26 species are endangered, some are endemic, 16 are vulnerable and 1 is critically endangered. The 1 that is critically endangered is the Bare-rumped sheath tail bat. Its scientific name is Saccolaimus saccolaimus nudicluniatus, as well as its family name Emballonuridae. They are found in caves; hollow trees, between rocks and under house eaves. The Bare-rumped sheathtail bats hunt together in colonies, however hang apart from one another. The bare-rumped sheath tail got its name from the lack of fur on the lower part of its back, also because of its dense and silky fur, that is red brown to dark brown with small patches of white. They are vulnerable to destruction, as well as disturbance by humans changing agricultural activities. They fligh high above trees hunting for their prey, also for safety from predators.
Kakadu National Park is visited by tourists every day, every year, with over 100,000 tourists a year to Kakadu. The reason they all come is because of the magnificent areas such as the red rock. Kakadu has 19 stunning attractions that tourists love which are: Animal track safari, yellow water cruises, Maguk Gorge, Nourlangie, Jim Jim falls, Kakadu gorge, waterfall tours, warradjam cultural centre, Kakadu dream day tours, Guluyambi boat tour, Anbangbang Billabong, Jumping crocodiles and wildlife tours, Bardedjilidji walk, koolpin Gorge, Yellow water fishing, Twin falls, yellow water-the algohgarrng experience and the escarpment. The two most famous attractions are the Jim Jim falls and the twin falls. Jim Jim rises to approximately 200m high, and is believed to be 140 million years old. The escarpment (with formed sea cliffs) is 330m above the plains and extends over 500km across the eastern side of the park. Its longitude is 13.2725 degrees south and its latitude is 132.8397 degrees east. The twin falls is near the eastern boundary of Kakadu and is accessible by; four wheel drive, guided boat cruise, bushwalk and boardwalk. It has another name which is Gungkurda. The twin falls has fascinating sites and has two walls parallel to each other. The reason it is called twin falls is because, the 2 parallel walls look exactly the same.
Threats and Dangers:
There are several threats and dangers to Kakadu such as: Cane toads, global warming, uranium mining, radioactive spills and sea levels. The cane toad, over causes great competition for native species and has a variety of different effects, which is a risk to Kakadu national park. It has an ideal to environment, which allows the cane toad population grow. Global warming has several side effects, such as: risk of natural disasters, bushfires and floods. These disasters could severely affect arrival populations. Uranium mining is a wide spread problem in Kakadu national park. Radioactive spills cause water contamination with dangerous consequences such as poisoning flora, fauna and soil pollutions. Sea levels could rise quickly in Kakadu national park, and as a result the population of fauna and fauna will decrease.
So far they are trying to conserve the fauna, flora and the forest found in Kakadu. The world heritage needs to put more money and effort into various threats. They haven’t found out what to do for uranium mining and global warming.
Kakadu National Park, has 280 different species of birds, which is one third of Earths birds species. Kakadu has over 68 different species of mammals, which is one fifth of Australia's mammals, and it is half the size of Switzerland.