Kosciuszko National Park

By Larita Aberg

Introduction

Kosciuszko National Park is the largest park in New South Wales and its landscape encompasses rugged mountains and wilderness. The park holds rare and common species of flora and fauna that help maintain the ecosystem ensuring that its lifecycle repeats. The higher regions of the park are an alpine climate which is unusual on mainland in Australia. However, only peaks of the main range subject to consistent heavy winter snow. In the borders of Kosciuszko National Park is Mount Kosciuszko which measures up to 2,228 meters above sea level.

Location

Kosciuszko National Park is located in the South Eastern corner of Australia, approximately 354km South West of Sydney. The park continues along the Alpine National Park in Victoria and the Namadgi National Park to the south of the Australian Capital Territory. The towns of Cooma, Tumut and Jindabyne are just outside the park.

Desciption

This park consists of glacial lakes, historic huts, snowgrass meadows and running rivers which include the Snowy River and the Thredbo River. Yarrangobilly caves can also be found there.

Flora

Kosciuszko National Park has a certain variety of plants. It has flora that is found nowhere else in the world. It's covered in herb fields of snow grass. It's also got snow daisies, heaths, field marks and alpine bogs. One of the many flowers there are the Hawkweed, which is a threat to Kosciuszko National Park.

From the West of Kosciuszko National Park is a dramatic steep fall and at the highest peak extends to a temperate rainforest. However the landscape develops further down the lower slopes to drier forests and woodlands. To the North are treeless plains formed by cold air drainage. Most of the park is dominated by alpine woodlands.

Fauna

In the borders of the park live rare and endangered species of Australian Fauna such as the Corroboree frog, the mountain pygmy possum and the more common dusky antechinus. The park has nine separate wilderness areas which hold different species. Only these nine wilderness areas have been identified


The Mountain Pygmy Possum

The Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys parvus) is a small, mouse-sized nocturnal marsupial of Australia found in dense alpine rock screes and boulder fields, mainly around Mount Kosciuszko in Kosciuszko National Park and also Southern Victoria. Mountain Pygmy Possum’s diet consists of insects, fleshy fruits, nuts, nectar and seeds. Its body is covered in a thick coat of fine grey fur except for its stomach, which is cream coloured; its tail is hairless.


The Corroboree frog

The Corroboree frogs are two species of small, ground dwelling frogs, native to Southern Tablelands of Australia. The two species are the Southern Corroboree Frog and the Northern Corroboree Frog. The diet of a mature Corroboree frog includes; beetles, mites, ants and insect larvae. However, as tadpoles they also tend to eat algae and other small pieces of organic material found in their pools


Dusky Antechinus

The Dusky Antechinus, also known as Swainson's antechinus or the dusky marsupial mouse which is a species of small marsupial carnivore, a member of the Dasyuridae family. The dusky antechinus is the largest antechinus and can be found in two forms which include, a dark and a pale form. It can be distinguished from its relatives by its much darker fur, which is also apparent in the pale form. Unusually for an antechinus, it is entirely terrestrial, and is active at many times of the day. It mostly eats invertebrates, although it will occasionally devour small lizards and skinks.

Tourism

Kosciuszko National Park attracts many visitors per year. The Pines campground is only a stone’s throw away from Blowering Reservoir and on the edge of Bogong Peaks Wilderness. Located in the northern precinct of Kosciuszko National Park, it’s a perfect spot for adventure-seekers who love to revel in the great outdoors. Just pull up the van or boat beside the reservoir and set up camp. With so many options for outdoor activities, and a huge stretch of water to play on, it’s a great base for water sports including paddling, sailing, boating, waterskiing and fishing. People sometimes go there to climb Mount Kosciuszko and see the astonishing view. The Snowy River is very famous and runs through the park. Walking tracks are also located throughout the park.



Threats or Dangers

There are numerous amounts of threats and dangers which can adversely affect the ecosystem of Kosciuszko National Park today. For example climate change, fires, hawkeeds and the loss of flora and fauna. Climate change threats many ecosystems today; it's mainly because of the carbon monoxide that is in the atmosphere. Fires are part of the ecosystem but can cause great damage. Loss of flora and fauna affects lots of ecosystems dramatically. Hawkweeds are a huge problem; they have already infested New Zealand.

Possible Solutions

There are various solutions to these problems that face Kosciuszko National park today. As you know climate change is mainly caused by carbon monoxide. We could reduce the carbon monoxide that is in the air by reducing the amount of using things like oil or gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas or propane barbecues, gas space heaters, gas ranges and ovens, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves. Vehicles also produce carbon monoxide. They have put fire bans. In NSW there is a defined bush fire danger period. We can try to build breeding facilities for the animals. Hawkweeds as you know are a huge problem people are now trying to think of ways to get rid of it.

Interesting Facts

  • Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia.
  • Aboriginal people have lived there for thousands of years

Conclusion

In the end this is a significant park in it's own way, it has the most eye catching flora and fauna. It can have dangers and threats which adversely affects the ecosystem so we need to respect it and protect it


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