Kara Kara National Park
The Kara Kara National Park is a national park located in the Wimmera/Goldfields region of Victoria, Australia. The 13,990-hectare national park is situated 190 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, west of the Sunraysia Highway, to the south of the town of St Arnaud. Kara Kara National Park protects one of the most intact remnants of Victoria's box-ironbark forests. Parts of the national park are unmodified in comparison to other areas of forest in the central goldfields and are a fine example of the type of vegetation that once covered 13% of Victoria; the national park is of importance to the Dja Dja Wurrung people. Most of the national park lies within the Northern Grampians Shire and the southern part of the national park is within the Pyrenees Shire; the national park was proclaimed on 30 October 2002 as the St Arnaud Range National Park which included the former Kara Kara State Park and most of the St Arnaud Range State Forest. Following release of a draft park management plan in April 2009 and subsequent consultations in accordance with the Geographic Places Names Act, 1998 and Guidelines for Geographic Names, the national park was renamed as the Kara Kara National Park.
The national park lies within the St Arnaud Box-Ironbark Region Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for swift parrots and other woodland birds. Protected areas of Victoria List of reduplicated Australian place names
Barmah National Park
The Barmah National Park is a national park located in the Hume region of the Australian state of Victoria. The 28,500-hectare park is located adjacent to the Murray River near the town of Barmah 220 kilometres north of Melbourne; the park wetlands. The area is subject to sporadic flooding from natural and irrigation water flows. Barmah National Park was utilised by Indigenous Australians to find food and materials. Following the settlement of Europeans into the area, the Barmah National Park became an important fishing and logging area, with surrounding land cleared for agriculture and grazing. Rabbits, sheep and horses were introduced into the area; the park continues to be a home to small herds of horses, known as a type of brumby. However plans exist to remove the horses from the park. Hardwood timber was harvested from the Barmah region from around 1870 and logging was an important industry in the region; the park was one of four established by the Victorian Government in 2010 to protect remnant River Red Gum forest.
The other parks created were the Gunbower National Park, Lower Goulburn National Park and the Warby-Ovens National Park. In July 2010, the Government of New South Wales declared the Millewa Forest, on the northern banks of the Murray River, as a national park; the 41,601-hectare forest was renamed as the Murray Valley National Park, making the combined reserves a 70,000-hectare cross–border national park, managed by both governments and the Traditional Owners. The combined parks are the largest continuous red gum forest in the world; the Barmah National Park is a camping, bird watching and recreation destination. The Barmah National Park is known as a temperate semi-arid region, with low rainfall and high evaporation. Average temperature maximums for the year are around 30 °C in January and February, with average minimum temperatures down to 4 °C in July. Average rainfall for the year is 400 millimetres, with the most rain falling in winter with an average monthly rainfall of 40 millimetres; the Barmah National Park is a River Red Gum forest, consisting of an upper storey of red gums, no shrub layer or middle storey, a ground storey of native grasses and rushes.
The edges of the forest merge into a eucalypt-box woodland. The park is a large flood plain and wetland area, with flooding of the Murray River occurring sporadically and due to flow regulation of the river; the main fauna type found within the park are waterbirds. The area is a rich breeding and foraging area for over 200 bird species, it is one of the largest breeding grounds of water birds in Victoria. Reptiles and amphibians are found within the river red gum forest, as well as many native fish species in the river, including the Murray Cod; the main native mammals found include the grey kangaroo, koala and possum species. Introduced animals such as rabbits and horses can be seen throughout the park. Following European settlement of the area, land was extensively cleared to allow for farming and agriculture. Sheep and cattle grazing was a common sight around the Barmah region from the mid to late 1800s; the periodic burning undertaken by Indigenous Australians was halted. Logging of the River Red Gum forests was an important part of the late early 1900s.
The construction of dams upstream from the Barmah National Park, from the 1920s onwards, have had a vast impact on the water flowing in the Murray River and instances of flooding. The Hume Dam was operational from 1936, the Yarrawonga Weir in 1939, the Dartmouth Dam from 1979. Since clearing for agriculture, the subsequent dam construction took place, the Murray River has undergone some form of flow regulation; the Barmah National Park and surrounding River Red Gum forests should flood in spring and winter, due to the water catchment of the Murray River. However, due to flow regulation, the floods now occur in summer and autumn and are less frequent and of shorter duration than previously. A significant decrease in breeding and occurrence of waterbirds, particular woodland bird species and species of migratory birds has been reported in the Barmah National Park; this decrease has been attributed to the changes to the flood regimes occurring in the area. A number of marsupial species are no longer found within the park, including the rufous bettong, bridled nailtail wallaby, western barred bandicoot and lesser stick-nest rat.
Their absence has been attributed to the introduction of foxes. Though the future impact of climate change on River Red Gum forests is unknown, there has been a significant dieback of trees in the area due to ongoing evapotranspiration deficits; the Barmah Forest was declared as a national park by the Victorian Government in 2010 under the National Parks Act, 1975. The park is managed as part of a collaboration between Parks Victoria and the Traditional Owners of the area, including the Yorta Yorta people; the Barmah National Park is an internationally recognised wetland, listed under the Ramsar Convention, a number of bird species that utilise the Barmah National Park are part of the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement and the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement. Flow regulation of the Murray River to benefit the surrounding agricultural land, has been undertaken for many years. However, more the importance of environmental flows is becoming acknowledged. Scientific study has shown that River Red Gums rely on specific levels and durations of floods in order to survive and regenerate waterbird species have speci
The Dandenong Ranges are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong 35 km east of Melbourne, Australia. The ranges consist of rolling hills, steeply weathered valleys and gullies covered in thick temperate rainforest, predominantly of tall Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth. After European settlement in the region, the range was used as a major source of timber for Melbourne; the ranges were popular with day-trippers from the 1870s onwards. Much of the Dandenongs were protected by parklands as early as 1882 and by 1987 these parklands were amalgamated to form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, subsequently expanded in 1997; the range receives light to moderate snow falls a few times in most years between late winter and late spring. Today, The Dandenongs are home to over 100,000 residents and is popular amongst visitors, many of whom stay for the weekend at the various Bed & Breakfasts throughout the region; the popular Puffing Billy Railway, a heritage steam railway, runs through the southern parts of The Dandenongs.
The etymology of the Dandenongs is a complicated one. Two names have been used to refer to the ranges, it is suspected that the name Dandenong was applied to the ranges due to being the origin of the Dandenong Creek. The origin of the name Dandenong is unknown, as is its meaning or correct spelling with other variations include. In any case, both names relate watercourses rather than mountains or ranges, as indicated by the ong ending. Given that the name Dandenong may not apply to anything in the immediate area, the relevance of the name Corhanwarrabul becomes apparent. Carhanwarrabul was the original name for one of the two main summits both or the entire range; the name applied to the main summits and was in continued use up until around 1900, when the name Dandenong appeared. At any rate, Corhanwarrabul remains the most relevant name for the ranges to date; the range is the remains of an extinct volcano last active 373 million years ago. It consists predominantly of Devonian rhyodacite; the topography consists of a series of ridges dissected by cut streams.
Sheltered gullies in the south of the range are home to temperate rain forest, fern gullies and Mountain Ash forest Eucalyptus regnans, whereas the drier ridges and exposed northern slopes are covered by dry sclerophyll forest of stringybarks and box. The entire range is prone to bushfires, the most recent of which have been the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, the 1997 Dandenong Ranges bushfires and small fires during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. A number of watercourses originate in the Dandenongs, these include: Cardinia Creek Clematis Creek Dandenong Creek Emerald Creek Ferny Creek Mast Gully Creek Menzies Creek Monbulk Creek Muddy Creek Olinda Creek Sassafras Creek Sherbrooke Creek Stringy Bark Creek Wandin Yallock Creek Woori Yallock Creek Olinda Falls Sherbrooke Falls Mount Dandenong—633m Mount Corhanwarrabul—628m Dunns Hill—561mSpur—Tremont Hill—396mOne Tree Hill—502mSpur—Chandlers HillSassafras Summit—488m Sherbrooke Summit—488m Black Hill Johns Hill Nobelius Hill Lewis Hill The Dandenong Ranges climate is mild and wet, with daily temperature variation low as low as 1 degree in the winter months.
Rainfall is uniform through the year, tending to peak between April and October with lower rainfall during the months of January and February. The mean annual rainfall is between 1000 and 1500 mm, increasing with elevation and from west to east; the elevation means that temperatures are 2 to 5 °C cooler than the lower suburbs of Melbourne to the west, with temperatures lowering by 1 °C for every 150 m of elevation. Due to the elevation, fog is common in winter months; as a result of its elevation snow falls one or two times a year at higher elevations between the months of June and October. A rare summer snow occurred on Christmas Day 2006; the local region has experienced substantial warming in recent decades and heavy snowfalls which were once common have become rare. The last significant snowfall to affect the Dandenong Ranges was on August 10, 2008, when as much 15 cm fell at the highest elevations. A Bureau of Meteorology weather station sits at an elevation of 513 m in the Ferny Creek Reserve in the southern part of the Dandenong Ranges.
This weather station replaced one, located on the summit of Dunns Hill. Around 120,000 people live depending on the definition; the following settlements are located in the Dandenongs themselves: Belgrave—4,094 Belgrave Heights—1,500 Belgrave South—1,500 Clematis—3,800 Emerald—6,000 Ferny Creek—1,500 Ferntree Gully - 10,000 Kallista—1,000 Kalorama—1,100 Kilsyth—10,000 Menzies Creek—1,300 Monbulk—2,700 Montrose—6, 500 Mount Dandenong—1,300 Olinda—1,500 Sassafras—1,000 Selby—1,400 Tecoma—2,200 The Patch—800 Upper Ferntree Gully—4,000 Upwey—6,800Some settlements located on and around the plateau to the east of the ranges are sometimes included: Cockatoo—4,500 Gembrook—1,600 Macclesfield—1,600 Seville—2,000 Seville East—600 Silvan—1,900 Wandin East—500 Wandin North—1,600Settlements in the western foothills are sometimes included: The Basin—4,100 Boronia—20,500 Mount Evelyn—9,100 The ranges are located near the boundary between the Wurundjeri and Bunurong nations' territories. The two nations were part of the Kulin
Croajingolong National Park
The Croajingolong National Park is a coastal national park located in the East Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria. The 88,355-hectare national park is situated 450 kilometres east of Melbourne and 500 kilometres south of Sydney; the name Croajingolong derives from the Australian Aboriginal Krauatungalung words galung, meaning "belonging to" and kraua, meaning "east". The park is linear in shape and bordered on the southern side by the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean, the western side by Bemm River and the eastern side by the township of Mallacoota, its northern boundary consists of dense low hills. The dimensions of the park are 80 kilometres by 20 kilometres, with an area of 875 square kilometres; the 100 kilometres Wilderness Coast Walk stretches the entire length of the park along beaches, through heathland and round rocky headlands. Croajingolong National Park, with the adjoining Nadgee Nature Reserve in New South Wales, forms one of only twelve World Biosphere areas in Australia.
It contains ecosystems and gene pools that are managed sustainably. The park encloses the Sandpatch Wilderness Area and is contiguous with the Cape Howe Wilderness Area, the Nadgee Nature Reserve and the Cape Howe Marine National Park; the eastern section of the park lies within the Nadgee to Mallacoota Inlet Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because it supports populations of eastern bristlebirds and pilotbirds as well as other significant fauna. Croajingolong's landscapes are so spectacular and environmentally significant that the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organisation nominated it a World Biosphere Reserve in 1977; the park houses impressive biodiversity, including 1,000 native plant species and 315 animal species. The diverse coastal landscapes feature rocky outcrops, large stretches of sandy beaches, coastal dunes and freshwater rivers, making the park a popular destination for hiking and walking, diving and sea kayaking. A popular way to explore the remote wilderness and diverse flora and fauna of the national park is on the Wilderness Coast Walk, which extends 45 kilometres from Thurra River camping area to Shipwreck Creek.
Popular destinations within the park include: Point Hicks and its lighthouse Tamboon Inlet resort town Spectacular sand dunes at Thurra River Lake Elusive near Wingan Inlet Mount Everard Rame HeadCamping spots exist at Wingan Inlet, Shipwreck Creek and Peachtree Creek and are all accessible by car. The camp sites at Mueller Inlet and Thurra River are managed. Most campgrounds are equipped with picnic fireplaces. Nearby towns are Mallacoota, Cann River, Bemm River and Orbost. Protected areas of Victoria List of biosphere reserves in Australia Croajingolong National Park page, at Parks Victoria Wilderness Coast Walk Hand made artist's book of etchings inspired by a bushwalk in Croajingolong National Park. Book created by Sandi Rigby and copy no.5 held by the Australian Library of Art, State Library of Queensland Croajingolong featured in the song Croa-jingo-long by Harold Williams in 1923
Kinglake National Park
The Kinglake National Park is a national park in Central Victoria, Australia. The 23,210-hectare national park is situated 50 kilometres northeast of Melbourne and includes tracks, camping facilities; the national park includes a picnic area with falls and natural flora. Layered sediment forms the valley, containing fossils from when the area was once covered by the sea. Natural fauna includes wallaby, wombat and echidna, it includes varieties of birds including cockatoos, king parrots, the rosella and the lyrebird. Prior to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, the park was renowned for being home to the tallest tree in Victoria; the specimen of Eucalyptus regnans stood 91.6 metres tall in 2002 and was suspected to have originated after the 1851 Black Thursday bushfires. It was located in the Wallaby Creek closed catchment area in the north-west regions of the park; the area was logged in the early part of the 20th century, some remnants of logging remain. In January 2006, parts of the park to the north of the Kinglake township were devastated by a bushfire started by lightning during a severe thunderstorm.
The blaze threatened to engulf the town, advancing to within a few hundred metres of the northern fringe. The town was saved by further thunderstorms, along with Country Fire Authority volunteers. In 2009 98% of the national park was burnt by the devastating Black Saturday bushfires. Much of the town of Kinglake was destroyed and nearly a hundred lives were lost; as of 2010, rehabilitation work is continuing and sections of the park are being reopened. Protected areas of Victoria Disappointment Reference Area Toorourrong Reservoir
Echidnas, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, belong to the family Tachyglossidae in the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. The four extant species, together with the platypus, are the only surviving members of the order Monotremata, are the only living mammals that lay eggs; the diet of some species consists of ants and termites, but they are not related to the true anteaters of the Americas. Echidnas live in New Guinea. Echidnas evolved between 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like monotreme; this ancestor was aquatic. The echidnas are named after Echidna, a creature from Greek mythology, half-woman, half-snake, as the animal was perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles. Echidnas are medium-sized, solitary mammals spines. Superficially, they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines, they are black or brown in colour. There have been several reports of albino echidnas, their eyes pink and their spines white.
They have slender snouts that function as both mouth and nose. Like the platypus, they are equipped with electrosensors, but while the platypus has 40,000 electroreceptors on its bill, the long-beaked echidna has only 2,000 electroreceptors, the short-beaked echidna, which lives in a drier environment, has no more than 400 located at the tip of its snout, they have short, strong limbs with large claws, are powerful diggers. Their claws on their hind limbs are curved backwards to help aid in digging. Echidnas have tiny toothless jaws; the echidna feeds by tearing open soft logs and the like, using its long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from its snout, to collect prey. The ears are slits on the sides of their heads that are unseen, as they are blanketed by their spines; the external ear is created by a large cartilaginous funnel, deep in the muscle. At 33 °C, the echidna possess the second lowest active body temperature of all mammals, behind the platypus; the short-beaked echidna's diet consists of ants and termites, while the Zaglossus species eat worms and insect larvae.
The tongues of long-beaked echidnas have tiny spines that help them capture their prey. They have no teeth, break down their food by grinding it between the bottoms of their mouths and their tongues. Echidnas' faeces are cylindrical in shape. Echidnas do not tolerate extreme temperatures. Echidnas are found in woodlands, hiding under vegetation, roots or piles of debris, they sometimes use the burrows of animals such as wombats. Individual echidnas have mutually overlapping territories. Despite their appearance, echidnas are capable swimmers; when swimming, they expose their snout and some of their spines, are known to journey to water in order to groom and bathe themselves. Echidnas and the platypus are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes; the average lifespan of an echidna in the wild is estimated around 14–16 years. When grown, a female can weigh up to 4.5 kilograms and a male can weigh up to 6 kilograms. The echidnas' sex can be inferred from their size; the reproductive organs differ, but both sexes have a single opening called a cloaca, which they use to urinate, release their faeces and to mate.
Male echidnas have non-venomous spurs on the hind feet. The neocortex makes up half compared to 80 % of a human brain. Due to their low metabolism and accompanying stress resistance, echidnas are long-lived for their size. Contrary to previous research, the echidna does enter REM sleep, but only when the ambient temperature is around 25 °C. At temperatures of 15 °C and 28 °C, REM sleep is suppressed; the female lays a single soft-shelled, leathery egg 22 days after mating, deposits it directly into her pouch. An egg is about 1.4 centimetres long. While hatching, the baby echidna opens the leather shell with a reptile-like egg tooth. Hatching takes place after 10 days of gestation; the mother digs a nursery burrow and deposits the young, returning every five days to suckle it until it is weaned at seven months. Puggles will stay within their mother's den for up to a year before leaving. Male echidnas have a four-headed penis. During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size.
Each time it copulates, it alternates heads in sets of two. When not in use, the penis is retracted inside a preputial sac in the cloaca; the male echidna's penis is 7 centimetres long when erect, its shaft is covered with penile spines. These may be used to induce ovulation in the female, it is a challenge to study the echidna in its natural habitat and they show no interest in mating while in captivity. Therefore, no one has seen an echidna ejaculate. There have been previous attempts, trying to force the echidna to ejaculate through the use of electrically stimulated ejaculation in order to obtain semen samples but has on
Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park
The Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park is a national park, located in the Hume region of Victoria, Australia. The 21,650-hectare national park is situated 275 kilometres northeast of Melbourne, extends west from Beechworth across the Hume Freeway and the Albury-Melbourne railway line to the west of Chiltern; the park was established under the National Parks Act, 2002 to protect a diverse range of threatened species and ecosystems. The distinctive features of the park include the Woolshed Falls, picturesque Mt Pilot summit, culturally significant Aboriginal rock art at Yeddonba and historical relics of the goldmining era scattered throughout; the park is used for a number of recreational activities including bushwalking, trail riding, rock climbing, camping, bird watching and prospecting. At the time of European settlement, box-ironbark forests covered 3,000,000 hectares or 13% of Victoria; as a result of settlement, nearly 80% of these forests were cleared and the remaining areas were badly degraded by grazing.
The forests of the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park are living testament to these claims with some of its natural systems deteriorated as a result of grazing, clearing and mining. When gold was discovered in the area during the mid 1800s, extensive alluvial and reef mining, quartz mining and gravel quarrying began. Fossicking and gem hunting are still permitted within the park today. Evidence of these activities including disturbed ground, mullock heaps and old mineshafts may be found scattered throughout the park. Pastoralists driving cattle through Chiltern, known at the time as Black Dog Creek, discovered the forests of box and ironbark during the 1930s; the species were renowned for their strong durable timber and soon felled for fencing and firewood. In fact, firewood collection continued until 2002. A landscape, dominated by large, mature trees and grassy forest floors deteriorated into packed stands of multi-stemmed coppice regrowth; the clearing of land for agriculture and grazing impacted negatively on this landscape.
Grazing continued through the Chiltern section of the park until the 1980s and the Mt Pilot section until the 1990s. Common problems associated with these activities including the introduction of pest species, soil compaction and erosion, increased salinity and habitat fragmentation were all reported as a result; the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park is an amalgamation of two separate parks, each with distinct geological and ecological profiles. The Chiltern Regional Park, first known as the Chiltern State Park, was a 4,250-hectare Box-ironbark forest, reserved in 1980 following the 1977 Land Conservation Council recommendations; the Mt Pilot Multipurpose Park was established under the 1977 LCC recommendations. The Environment Conservation Council replaced the LCC in 1997 and gave rise to the Chiltern Box-ironbark National Park of 4,320 hectares; when the Victorian State parliament gave assent to the National Parks Act, 2002 it initiated the creation of a protected system of parks and reserves.
The Chiltern Box-ironbark National Park and the Mt Pilot Multipurpose Park, in addition to Woolshed falls and surrounding land, were brought together to form Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park as it is known today. The Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park falls within the Victorian Riverina and Northern Inland Slopes sub-bioregions; the Chiltern section of the park comprises low-lying hills formed from Ordovician sedimentary rock which are distinctly contrast to the rugged Devonian granite of the Mt Pilot section. The park protects a total 18 ecological vegetation classes of which four are threatened: Box-Ironbark, Spring-soak Woodland, Gilgai Plain Woodland/Wetland Mosaic and the Valley Grassy Forest; the park supports over 600 native species of flora and has the most intact assemblage of fauna with more birds and reptiles recorded than any other Box-ironbark forest. Most notably, the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park provides a critical habitat for the recovery of the barking owl and brush-tailed phascogale.
It is part of the Warby–Chiltern Box–Ironbark region Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for the conservation of Box–Ironbark forest ecosystems and several species of threatened woodland birds dependent on them. The park supports a diverse range of native fauna with 276 different species of mammals and reptiles being reported; as well as common species including the grey kangaroo and laughing kookaburra, the park is home to 43 fauna species listed as threatened. Some significant species are described in more detail below; the squirrel glider is a small to medium-sized arboreal marsupial that occupies a vast range of habitats throughout Eastern Australia. It is listed as a threatened species under the FFG Act 1988; the gliders have specific feeding and nesting requirements and use trees to move through the landscape. They are susceptible to changes in forest conditions. Squirrel gliders have a reported home range size of 3.9 hectares in northeast Victoria.
This size can vary and is influenced by the availability of food and the quality of the forest habitat. The glider’s diet consists of arthropods and insect exudates with foraging ac