Sunday, May 8, 2022

Kakadu National Park in Australia

 


Kakadu National Park is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km (106 mi) southeast of Darwin. It is a World Heritage Site. Kakadu is also gazetted as a locality, covering the same area as the national park, with 313 people recorded living there in the 2016 Australian census. Water buffalo, which are now an environmental pest, were released in the area in the late 19th century, and missionaries established a mission at Oenpelli in 1925. A few pastoralists, crocodile hunters and wood cutters made a living at various times during the 20th century. The area was given protected status bit by bit from the 1970s onwards.


The park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory. It covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), extending nearly 200 kilometres (124 mi) from north to south and over 100 kilometres (62 mi) from east to west. It is roughly the size of Wales or one-third the size of Tasmania, and is the second largest national park in Australia (after the Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert National Park). Most of the area is owned by the Aboriginal traditional owners, who have occupied the land for around 60,000 years, who manage the park jointly with Parks Australia. It is ecologically and biologically diverse, with a wide range of flora and fauna, and is protected by the EPBC Act. It also includes a rich heritage of Aboriginal rock art, including highly significant sites such as Ubirr.


The estuaries and tidal flats are home to an array of plants and animals adapted to living in the oxygen-deficient saline mud. The dominant habitats are mangrove swamps and samphire flats. Where freshwater springs occur along the coasts and river banks, isolated pockets of coastal monsoon rainforests form. Kakadu National Park covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), extending nearly 200 kilometres (124 mi) from north to south and over 100 kilometres (62 mi) from east to west. It is the size of Wales, about one-third the size of Tasmania, and nearly half the size of Switzerland, making it the second largest national park in Australia after the Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert National Park, which was proclaimed in November 2021.The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive uranium mines in the world, is surrounded by the park.

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