State and National Parks Project

 

 

 

By

 

Jazmin Cook Class 3/4L

 

30 June 2002

 


 

What is a National Park?

A National Park is where animals and birds and trees are protected. They also look after the countryside so it can all be kept for people now and in the future to enjoy.

 

The first laws to protect the country's scenic areas were passed in Tasmania in 1863. In 1879, the Royal National Park was established south of Sydney - Australia's first, and the world's second  national park - Yellowstone in California America was the first.

 

Since then, about 3200 national parks, conservation parks, reserves, and refuges have been set aside in Australia and Tasmania, totalling more than 40 million hectares (99 million acres), or more than 5% of Australian land. A further 38 million hectares (94 million acres) in 228 marine areas have also been set aside.

 

Why do we have National Parks?

We have them to protect the animals (fauna) and plants (flora) so we can all see them and they can live. It also is so we can “kick back and relax” and enjoy the beauty of life and the countryside.

 

There are lots of National Parks in Australia. There are 27 parks and reserves in the Northern Rivers Region in Northern NSW. Some of them are: Border Ranges; Koreelah; Richmond Ranges and Mt Warning National Parks.

 

This region is one of 7 regions in NSW. Northern Rivers is the one in the top right of the NSW map. The National Park I have studied is the Wollemi National Park. I looked up information on the internet with my Dad to find out about the national park.

 

Types of National Parks

There are a lot of types of parks. This information about the types of national parks is from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife web site.

national park-  a large area protected to keep its landscapes and native plants and animals. National parks are set aside for public education and recreation, and usually offer visitor facilities.

 

nature reserve- Nature reserves are mainly established to conserve their native plant and animal communities. Few have visitor facilities.

 

state

recreation area- A park, often containing important natural environments, which has been set aside mainly for outdoor recreation. Wyangla Dam State Recreation Area is one example.

 

regional park-  is a park near a large population centre; it has open space and recreational and cultural opportunities for residents. The environments in regional parks have often been largely altered since European occupation.

 

Reserve-          reserve set aside for long-term environmental conservation and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, even though there remains the possibility of future mining exploration.

 

marine park-    A unique and outstanding marine area, set aside to conserve seawater plants and animals. Marine parks are divided into zones that allow different, sustainable levels of commercial and recreational activities.

 

historic site-    A site of national cultural importance, including buildings, objects, monuments and landscapes. Historic sites are generally open to visitors.

 

wilderness

 area-               The term 'wilderness' has a special meaning under the Wilderness Act 1987. It refers to a large, remote area of land which has remained essentially unchanged by modern human activity. We manage wilderness areas so that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible. Horses and vehicles are not permitted in these places, and bicycles are only allowed on a small number of approved management trails.

 

Ramsar

Wetland-         A globally significant wetland site, protected by international convention. In managing Ramsar sites, we try to preserve their unique ecological characteristics.

 

World Heritage

Area-               The globally recognised World Heritage list contains some of the most important examples of natural and cultural heritage in the world. Protected by international convention, they are part of a group of more than 600 treasures that include the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest, the pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China.

 

Rules of National Parks

All of the rules in National Parks are there to stop us damaging them. Some of these rules are: no taking rocks or stones, not hurting or killing animals, no cutting down of trees and you can only picnic or camp in areas that say you can.

 

If we didn’t have these rules we would destroy them. Then there would be none left for other people to enjoy and the animals would probably die.

 

Role of the National Parks and Wildlife Service

The National Parks and Wildlife Service of NSW looks after over 5% of the state. The NPWS looks after important Aboriginal sites, such as art sites, burial sites are not unnecessarily interfered with. Some of these sites are made available for public access and education. The National Parks and Wildlife Service also has an important role in, helping the Government make laws for protecting historical heritage within the park system.

 

The NPWS historic heritage includes a large number of standing buildings, roads, works, relics archaeological sites and landscape elements. Some of these places are significant nationally or regionally, while others may only be of local importance. These places are picked because they show how Australia has been used by the Aborigines and white settlers for building, farming and mining and other uses. Places also include abandoned townships (ghost towns), forts (like at North Head in Sydney) and other places of major social importance. They are important in showing us all the different types of uses humans make of Australia and looking after these is called conservation.

 

The NPWS have a plan for the management of the Wollemi National Park the web location of this plan is: http://www.npws.nsw.gov.au/news/exhibition/POM/final/wollemi_final.pdf

 

 

 

Australia and surrounding countries

Australia - showing state lines, rain (green) & lightning (crosses)

 

Map of New South Wales

 

A map of Wollemi National Park

 

Wollemi National Park

Wollemi National Park (area 492,976 ha) is in the Sydney and Surrounds region of NSW. It is part of the recently declared Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area maze of canyons, cliffs and undisturbed forest. So Wollemi is both a national park and a World Heritage Area.

 

I have chosen to look at Wollemi National Park because it is not very far from here and it is very important, because it the only national park with the special type of pine trees. Also I have been to the Glow Worm cave, with my Mum & Dad, grandparents and some friends, which is in the Wollemi National Park. It was a long walk through the bush to the Glow Worm cave but it was fun.

Jazmin on trail to Glow Worm Cave Wollemi National Park 2001

 

Backpack camping is allowed anywhere within the grounds away from roads. Permits are not required. There are limited camping areas with toilets and BBQs. Newnes and Glenn Davis both have large open areas for camping with car access.

 

The map below shows the Wollemi National Park and where St Marys (our school) is – look at the middle and bottom right sides.

 

The park is important because it makes a significant contribution to the natural areas which fringe the Sydney metropolitan area and because of the opportunity of protecting the largest wilderness area remaining in New South Wales.

 

One hundred and twenty Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the park. This is only a very small amount of those expected to be found as more of the park is explored.

 

The Role of Workers in the Park

The workers look after the park. They make sure people don’t do the wrong thing like littering or cutting down trees or taking rocks like sandstone. They also look after the bush and the animals.

 

The Wollemi Pine

The Wollemi Pine in its natural environment

Stand of Wollemi Pine trees

The Wollemi National Park is the home of the Wollemi Pine. A pine tree that is said to have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. It is sometimes called a tree 'living fossil'. It was first discovered in 1994.  One of the World's rarest species of tree, it is found in only two small areas in the Wollemi National Park, west of Sydney.

 

Below are two pictures of Wollemi Pines. The first is a young plant in a pot. The one on the right is one of the few stands of Wollemi pine trees in the wild.

 


Seedling (102044 bytes)                        Adult trees (275940 bytes)

 

The Wollemi Pine is very rare. For this reason it is called an endangered species of tree.

 

 

Some Animals that live in the Wollemi National Park

The Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing kookaburra

 

The Laughing Kookaburra is part of the Kingfisher family of birds. They are found all over Australia, including the Wollemi National Park.

 

The Brush Tailed Possum

Brush-tailed possum

The Bush Tailed Possum - can be found in forests and woodlands all along the east coast of Australia. It is active at night and usually spends the day sleeping – these types of animals are called nocturnal. Brush-tailed possums are about as big as cats. They also have sharp claws, which they use to climb trees and comb their fur.

Brush-tailed possums are marsupials – this means they have a pouch. Their babies are usually born in May and June. An Echidna has a baby after 17 days. The baby stays in the pouch for about 5 months and then spends 2 months clinging to its mother’s back as she moves about. They are fully grown by about 10 months.

The Echidna

Echidna

 

The Echidna is a grub eating animal that prefers termites best of all. It does not eat worms. Its spines are really thick and are made of material like that in a persons’ fingernails – I learnt that from Harry’s Practice. The echidna that lives in the Park is the short-beaked echidna.

 

 

 

Other Animals that live in Wollemi

Feral horses, pigs and cats also live in this park. A feral animal is one that is now wild, because people let them free to live in the wild and have their babies there. There are lots of types of frogs in the Wollemi National Park. This is a list of some of the frogs that live in the park:

Green Tree Frog

Red-eyed Tree Frog

Blue Mountains Tree Frog

Bleating Tree Frog

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog

Lesueur's Frog

Peron's Tree Frog

Leaf Green Tree Frog

Tusked Frog

Common Eastern Froglet

Giant Burrowing Frog

Eastern Banjo Frog

Ornate Burrowing Frog

Brown-striped Frog

Spotted Grass Frog

Great Barred Frog

Red-crowned Toadlet

Brown Toadlet

Smooth Toadlet.