Finke Gorge National Park
Finke Gorge is a national park in the Northern Territory of Australia, 1318 km south of Darwin. The Park covers an area of 458 km2, includes the impressive desert oasis Palm Valley, home to a diverse range of plant species, many of which are rare and unique to the area. There are good opportunities for bushcamping in the park; the park is noted for Aboriginal cultural sites. The Central Australian Cabbage Palm is found only in prolifically here; the Finke River is claimed to be one of the oldest catchments in the world, with areas dating back 350 million years. The park and nearby areas hold cultural significance to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people and there is evidence of early European settlement. A four-wheel-drive route down the Finke River to Illamurta Springs and Watarrka National Park begins at Finke Gorge. Bush walking is another common activity. Kalaranga lookout is an easy 20 minute climb, with views of the rock amphitheatre encircled by rugged cliffs; the Mpaara Walk introduces the mythology of the Western Arrernte Aboriginal culture.
In Palm Valley, the Arankaia Walk and the longer Mpulungkinya Walk meander among slender palms, returning across a scenic plateau. Protected areas of the Northern Territory Finke Gorge National Parks web page Official fact sheet and map
Judbarra / Gregory National Park
Judbarra National Park Gregory National Park, is a national park in the Northern Territory, 359 km south of Darwin. The park is the second largest national park in the Northern Territory, after Kakadu National Park, with an area of 13,000 km2. Ecologically, it is in the transition between semi-arid zones; the park was known as Gregory National Park, but on 21 October 2011, it was announced that under a joint management plan with the traditional owners, the park would be dual-named "Judbarra" for a period of ten years. Beginning in 2021, its official name will be Judbarra National Park; the park consists of two geographically disjoint sections. The larger section lies to the southwest of the smaller northeastern section; the park includes traditional lands of several Indigenous Australian groups, including Ngarinyman, Malngin, Ngaliwurru, Bilinara and Jaminjung, spans the boundary between two major Australian language families, Pama Nyungan and Non-Pama-Nyungan. The rock shelters and caves in Judbarra / Gregory contain an extensive amount of rock art, variously created by painting, drawing, "pecking and pounding".
The human figure is the most common motif. The rock art of the Judbarra region is considered to represent a distinct art province; the park has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it supports much of the eastern subspecies of the white-quilled rock-pigeon and small numbers of the endangered Gouldian finch, as well as populations of the chestnut-backed buttonquail, partridge pigeon, yellow-rumped mannikin and several other near-threatened or savanna-biome-restricted species. Protected areas of the Northern Territory Official website Official fact sheet and map
Yulara, Northern Territory
Yulara is a town in the Southern Region of the Northern Territory, Australia. It lies as an unincorporated enclave within MacDonnell Region. At the 2016 census, Yulara had a permanent population of 1,099, in an area of 103.33 square kilometres. It is 18 kilometres by 55 kilometres from Kata Tjuta, it is located in the Northern Territory electorate of Namatjira and the federal electorate of Lingiari. By the early 1970s, the pressure of unstructured and unmonitored tourism, including motels near the base of Uluru, was having detrimental effects on the environment surrounding both Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Following the recommendation of a Senate Select Committee to remove all developments near the base of the rock and build a new resort to support tourism in the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, the Commonwealth Government agreed in 1973 to relocate accommodation facilities to a new site outside the park. In 1976, the Governor General proclaimed the new village of some 14 kilometres from Uluru. After the Northern Territory was granted Self Government in 1978, development of the new town became a major priority of the Northern Territory Government.
Between 1978 and 1981, basic infrastructure was built via the government's capital works program. In 1980 the government set up the Yulara Development Company Ltd to develop tourist accommodation, staff housing and a shopping centre; the first stage of the resort was built between 1982 and 1984 for the Northern Territory Government by Yulara Development Company Ltd. at a cost of A$130 million. The resort was designed by Philip Cox & Associates and won the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Sir Zelman Cowen Award in 1984; when the new facilities became operational in late 1984, the Commonwealth Government terminated all leases for the old motels near the Rock, the area was rehabilitated by the National Park Service. Around the same time, the national park was renamed Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa, its ownership was transferred to the local Indigenous people, who leased it back to the Parks Australia for 99 years. There were three competing hotels, but that detracted from the viability of the enterprise, the company incurred massive operating losses.
Between 1990 and 1992, the competing hotel operators were replaced by a single operator, the government-owned Investnorth Management Pty Ltd. In 1992, the government sold, through open tender, a 40% interest in the Yulara Development Company and, the resort, to a venture capital consortium. In 1997, the entire resort was again sold by open tender to General Property Trust, which appointed Voyages Hotels & Resorts as operator. Voyages operated all aspects of the resort, with the exception of the bank. All residents of the town rented their housing from Voyages, but the government leased some housing for its employees. Most residents are either workers in the tour operators. In 2011, the resort was sold again to the Indigenous Land Corporation which operates the resort under its subsidiary, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 1,099 people in Yulara. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 14.2% of the population. 52.8% of people were born in Australia and 62.6% of people spoke only English at home.
The most common response for religion was No Religion at 38.4%. The nearby Connellan Airport makes it possible to reach the area in a few hours from Sydney, Alice Springs or Cairns, compared to five hours by car from Alice Springs, the nearest major town, 428 kilometres northeast; the resort is served by one major road, the Lasseter Highway, which links it to surrounding roads and landmarks. The Lasseter Highway is being expanded in the area to help with the tourism traffic flow; the sealed Lasseter Highway extends east to meet the Stuart Highway. The roads in other directions are not so well travelled; the Great Central Road leads west and southwest into Western Australia, but is only suitable for high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles. Transit permits from Aboriginal Land Councils are required to travel west of Kata-Tjuta. Yulara has a dry and arid climate with long hot summers and short, cool winters, with scant rainfall year-round. Frost may occur in some winter mornings. Satellite image from Google Maps Nyangatjatjara College, Yulara
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, field projects and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable". Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to sustainable development in its projects. Unlike many other international environmental organisations, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation, it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, through building partnerships. The organization is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.
IUCN has a membership of over 1400 non-governmental organizations. Some 16,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis, it employs 1000 full-time staff in more than 50 countries. Its headquarters are in Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, plays a role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity, it was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. In the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its closer relations with the business sector have caused controversy. IUCN was established in 1948, it was called the International Union for the Protection of Nature and the World Conservation Union. Establishment IUCN was established on 5 October 1948, in Fontainebleau, when representatives of governments and conservation organizations signed a formal act constituting the International Union for the Protection of Nature.
The initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. The objectives of the new Union were to encourage international cooperation in the protection of nature, to promote national and international action and to compile and distribute information. At the time of its founding IUPN was the only international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years: 1948–1956 IUPN started out with 65 members, its secretariat was located in Brussels. Its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid scientific base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were associated, they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of gravely endangered species was drawn up for the first time, a precursor of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In the early years of its existence IUCN depended entirely on UNESCO funding and was forced to temporarily scale down activities when this ended unexpectedly in 1954. IUPN was successful in engaging prominent scientists and identifying important issues such as the harmful effects of pesticides on wildlife but not many of the ideas it developed were turned into action; this was caused by unwillingness to act on the part of governments, uncertainty about the IUPN mandate and lack of resources. In 1956, IUPN changed its name to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Increased profile and recognition: 1956–1965 In the 1950s and 1960s Europe entered a period of economic growth and formal colonies became independent. Both developments had impact on the work of IUCN. Through the voluntary involvement of experts in its Commissions IUCN was able to get a lot of work done while still operating on a low budget, it established links with the Council of Europe. In 1961, at the request of United Nations Economic and Social Council, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, IUCN published the first global list of national parks and protected areas which it has updated since.
IUCN's best known publication, the Red Data Book on the conservation status of species, was first published in 1964. IUCN began to play a part in the development of international treaties and conventions, starting with the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Environmental law and policy making became a new area of expertise. Africa was the focus of many of the early IUCN conservation field projects. IUCN supported the ‘Yellowstone model’ of protected area management, which restricted human presence and activity in order to protect nature. IUCN and other conservation organisations were criticized for protecting nature against people rather than with people; this model was also applied in Africa and played a role in the decision to remove the Maasai people from Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. To establish a stable financial basis for its work, IUCN participated in setting up the World Wildlife Fund
National parks of the Northern Territory
This is a list of National parks of the Northern Territory, Australia. Barranyi National Park Charles Darwin National Park Djukbinj National Park Dulcie Range National Park Elsey National Park Finke Gorge National Park Garig Gunak Barlu National Park Iytwelepenty / Davenport Range National Park Judbarra / Gregory National Park Kakadu National Park Keep River National Park Limmen National Park Litchfield National Park Mary River National Park Nitmiluk National Park Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park List of protected areas of the Northern Territory Protected areas managed by the Australian government List of national parks of Australia Official Northern Territory government website for parks and reserves Do the NT, a Northern Territory government tourism website
Elsey National Park
Elsey is a national park in the Northern Territory, extending from 2 km to 19 km east of Mataranka and 378 km southeast of Darwin. Features of the park include Mataranka Falls, the “Mataranka Thermal Pools”The thermal springs are home to a well known colony of the little red fruit-bat, species Pteropus scapulatus, an attraction, discouraged from inhabiting the site for the strong odour of their camps; these fruit eating bats roost during the day at the stands of bamboo in large numbers, leave at night to feed on nectar from trees. Protected areas of the Northern Territory Official fact sheet and map
Kakadu National Park
Kakadu National Park is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin. The park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory, it covers an area of 19,804 km2, extending nearly 200 kilometres from north to south and over 100 kilometres from east to west. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, nearly half the size of Switzerland; the Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive uranium mines in the world, is surrounded by the park. The name Kakadu may come from the mispronunciation of Gaagudju, the name of an Aboriginal language spoken in the northern part of the park; this name may derive from the Indonesian word kakatuwah, subsequently Anglicised as "cockatoo". Kakadu is biologically diverse; the main natural features protected within the National Park include: four major river systems: the East Alligator River, the West Alligator River, the Wildman River. Some 117 species of reptilesAboriginal people have occupied the Kakadu area continuously for at least 40,000 years.
Kakadu National Park is renowned for the richness of its Aboriginal cultural sites. There are more than 5,000 recorded art sites illustrating Aboriginal culture over thousands of years; the archaeological sites demonstrate Aboriginal occupation for at least 20,000 and up to 40,000 years. The cultural and natural values of Kakadu National Park were recognised internationally when the park was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; this is an international register of properties that are recognised as having outstanding cultural or natural values of international significance. Kakadu was listed in three stages: stage 1 in 1981, stage 2 in 1987, the entire park in 1992. Half of the land in Kakadu is Aboriginal land under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976, most of the remaining land is under claim by Aboriginal people; the areas of the park that are owned by Aboriginal people are leased by the traditional owners to the Director of National Parks to be managed as a national park. The remaining area is Commonwealth land vested under the Director of National Parks.
All of Kakadu is declared a national park under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Aboriginal traditional owners of the park are descendants of various clan groups from the Kakadu area and have longstanding affiliations with this country, their lifestyle has changed in recent years, but their traditional customs and beliefs remain important. About 500 Aboriginal people live in the park, many of them are traditional owners. All of Kakadu is jointly managed by Aboriginal traditional owners and the Director of National Parks with assistance from Parks Australia, a division of Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Energy. Park Management is directed by the Kakadu Board of Management; the Chinese and Portuguese all claim to have been the first non-Aboriginal explorers of Australia's north coast. The first surviving written account comes from the Dutch. In 1623 Jan Carstenszoon made his way west across the Gulf of Carpentaria to what is believed to be Groote Eylandt.
Abel Tasman is the next documented explorer to visit this part of the coast in 1644. He was the first person to record European contact with Aboriginal people. A century Matthew Flinders surveyed the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1802 and 1803. Phillip Parker King, an English navigator entered the Gulf of Carpentaria between 1818 and 1822. During this time he named the three Alligator Rivers after the large numbers of crocodiles, which he mistook for alligators. Ludwig Leichhardt was the first land-based European explorer to visit the Kakadu region, in 1845 on his route from Moreton Bay in Queensland to Port Essington in the Northern Territory, he followed Jim Jim Creek down from the Arnhem Land escarpment went down the South Alligator before crossing to the East Alligator and proceeding north. A more plausible, if prosaic, explanation for the origin of the name of the park is that Leichhardt applied the colloquial German term for a cockatoo, although this is unlikely to sit well with the indigenous historians.
In 1862, John McDouall Stuart travelled along the south-western boundary of Kakadu but did not see any people. The first non-Aboriginal people to visit and have sustained contact with Aboriginal people in northern Australia were the Macassans from Sulawesi and other parts of the Indonesian archipelago, they travelled to northern Australia every wet season from the last quarter of the seventeenth century, in sailing boats called praus. Their main aim was to harvest trepang, turtle shell and other prized items to trade in their homeland. Aboriginal people were involved in harvesting and processing the trepang, in collecting and exchanging the other goods. There is no evidence that the Macassans spent time on the coast of Kakadu but there is evidence of some contact between Macassan culture and Aboriginal people of the Kakadu area. Among the artefacts from archaeological digs in the park are glass and metal fragments that came from the Macassans, either directly or through trade with the Cobourg Peninsula people.
The British attempted a number of settlements on the northern Australian coast in the early part of the nineteenth century: Fort Dundas on Melville Island in 1824.