Kakadu By Sam Clarke

Part 1:

Place/Space

The Kakadu National Park is located around 171Km South West of Darwin. On the western edge of the Arnhemland plateauĀ is a 300m high escarpment is made from sandstone and quartzite laid down in a shallow sea some 1800 million years ago. Erosion over those millions of years made gorges and waterfalls. The Kakadu National Park is also made up of tropical rainforests, the outliers, the lowlands, the southern hills and basins, flood plains and the tidal flats. Evidence has shown that Aboriginal people have lived in the Kakadu National Park for over 60,000 years and still maintain their ancient and diverse culture. In 1992 the park was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Half of the park is owned by the aboriginal people and to Parks Australia, even though Parks Australia own half of the park the aboriginal people of the area want to own all of it. The park is also home to the Ranger Uranium Mine.

A map of Australia and the national park
Some of Kakadu's animals, including, salt water crocodiles, flat back turtles and many more.

Environment

Because The Kakadu National Park is so large and lush, that means that it should be swarming with life, and it certainly is. There are around 74 mammal species in the park, more than 271 species of birds, 132 types of reptiles, 27 species of frogs, around 314 fish species, almost 1600 types of plants and over 10,000 species of insects.

The climate in Kakadu is monsoonal and is characterised by 2 main seasons, the dry and the wet. The dry season starts in April and goes until September, the wet season goes from January through to March and the bit in between them is called the build up period, which goes from October to December. Apart from a few man made dwellings all aspects of the Kakadu National Park are natural.

Jim Jim Falls during the dry and the wet season

Part 2:

Interconnection

The most popular time for people to visit the Kakadu National Park is the dry season (in between April and October) when usually around 200,000 people flock in. Some problems may occur with this many people flooding through the gates in a year. There could be too many people doing the attractions at once and if too many people do the attractions at once that will affect the wild life in Kakadu and may ruin the magnificent national park.

Sustainability

To help sustain the Kakadu National Park in April of 2010 Parks Australia reinstated the rule of a national park fee. The reason why they did this is to raise money so they can sustain and maintain the purity of the Kakadu National Park.

Traditional aboriginal management practices for example, burning grasslands to revive species is employed to maintain environmental value. To ensure that the Kakadu National Park is basically preserved for future generations to be able to enjoy and experience the beautiful National Park, actions will need to taken quite possibly globally to make sure that Kakadu and all of its plants and animals stay the same. There are certain invasive species of flora and fauna that could affect this, they include, Water Buffalo, Wild Pigs, Cane Toads, Brumbies, Mimosa Pigra and Salvinia Molesta.

Scale

The Kakadu National Park is huge. The park contains 4 river systems and 6 major landforms. In terms of area Kakadu is huge and is 20,000 square kilometres which is one third of the size of Tasmania. It has an amazing array of flora and fauna, with 280 types of birds, 60 species of mammals, 117 types of reptiles and around 2000 plant species. The park contains 30% of Australia's bird species.

Change

Modelling has shown that the rising sea level caused by climate change will create saltwater erosion intrusion along the Alligator River and inundation of the wetlands. Also there will be greater variation of the number of wet or dry days. Seasons will become less predictable. Some natural values could decline as a result of climate change, with some species disappearing or in the case of migratory birds simply move somewhere else. This will have a significant impact of visitor numbers and the local economy.

In the future, if people don't control feral species of plants and animals, then many native species and even normal species could become endangered and possibly even become extinct. If that were to happen then it would definitely change the environment and plants may start dying which make the Kakadu National Park not as different and that would definitely lower tourism numbers. There are many feral species at the park but the biggest threat is the Cane Toad as there isn't any effective control. Invasive plant species are controlled through poisoning or pulling.

Bibliography

Central, N.T.T. and reserved, A. rights (2012) Kakadu National Park. Available at: http://www.nttc.com.au/kakadu (Accessed: 2 April 2017).

Currie, T. (2012) Northern territory indigenous tours. Available at: http://www.ntitours.com.au/places-to-go-around-darwin/kakadu-national-park/ (Accessed: 2 April 2017).

Welcome to Kakadu national park (2013) Available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks/kakadu-national-park (Accessed: 13 April 2017).

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