Environment

The National Parks Of Victoria, Australia: Significance In Conservation Of Wildlife

Victoria, the smallest mainland state in Australia, contained 2,850 separate protected areas of which 45 are national parks.

Victoria is one of the major tourist destinations in the world. The tourist attractions include nature, sanctuary, beaches, museums, and magnificent buildings among other attractions. Victoria is characterized by magnificent parks and places that offer an appeal to both local and international tourists all year round. The abundant camping sites offer wilderness accommodation for people visiting the park. The state of Victoria is located in the southeast Australia and is one of the most densely populated states in the country. Victoria is a topographically, geologically, and climatically diverse state characterized by different climates despite its small size.

Ecoregions Of Victoria

Victoria is an ecologically diverse state despite its small size. The state is characterized by several ecological regions including the Great Victoria Desert which extends from Eastern Goldfield area across central Australia to South Australia. The ecoregion is arid with seasonal rainfall of below 250 mm and a hot summer temperature of between 320 and 350C. THE Southeast Australia temperate forest ecoregion covers the most of the southern Victoria extending to the Tableland regions of New South Wales. This ecoregion is characterized by seasonal rainfall concentrated mainly in the winter. The northern portion of the temperate forest consists of small hills of the Dividing Range. The Victoria Plains Tropical Savanna ecoregion consist of plains which are punctuated with sandstone outcrop and dominated by eucalyptus woodland.

The Wild Flora And Fauna Of Victoria

Victoria is home to thousands of flora and fauna species. There are over 4300 native plants and 950 native animals in Victoria. The parks contain a broad range of habitats which play a vital role in the protection of the high biodiversity. Some of the flora and fauna species are unique to the particular areas of Victoria while other species are common throughout the state. The wildlife population in Victoria is very dynamic and varies in distribution depending on the past and present land use, climate, availability of food, and predation. Victoria is home to 201 reptile species, 139 mammal species, 450 species of birds, and several amphibians. Some of the common animals found in Victoria include flying-foxes, kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, and 27 species of snakes.

Threats To Victoria's Wildlife

Several factors threaten the survival of wildlife in the state of Victoria. Humans are the major threats to the wildlife through the different adverse actions on land. Uncontrolled grazing has affected the plant community and damaged fragile wetlands and moss bed community. Gold mining in the Victoria Alps has caused a major impact on the health of the ecosystem. The mining has led to the destruction of vegetation and plant species and diversion of streams and rivers. The frequent fires have also destroyed several plant species in the Victoria Alps. Illegal poaching and hunting remain a threat to several mammals and reptiles in the Victoria parks leading to significant reduction of some species such as the kangaroos. Other threats include pests, cultivation, and invasive plants.

Establishment Of National Parks In Victoria

Victoria contains 2850 separate protected area covering a total land area of 15,163 sq miles or 17.3% of the state’s area. There are 45 national parks in Victoria covering 10,820 sq miles managed Park Victoria which is a government agency. The agency was established in 1996 under the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The national parks in Victoria have grown from 13 in 1952 to the current 45 due to the combined effort of the Land Conservation Council, Environmental Conservation Council, and Victorian Environmental Assessment Council. The reservation of each of the national parks in Victoria is under the National Park Acts.

Significance Of National Parks In Victoria

National parks in Victoria are important in the conservation efforts in Australia. Thousands of wildlife species are preserved in the parks across Victoria. The parks are also a famous tourist attraction with almost 70 million tourists visiting the parks every year. Revenue generated from the parks contributes significantly to the growth of Australia’s GDP. The national parks are also centers for biological research, especially of the species unique to Victoria and Australia.

The National Parks Of Victoria, Australia: Significance In Conservation Of Wildlife

RankNational park nameArea (in acre)Declared as a national park
1Alpine1,600,0001989
2Murray-Sunset1,560,00026 April 1979
3Wyperfeld882,2101921
4Grampians420,0001 July 1984
5Little Desert330,0001968
6Great Otway250,00011 December 2005
7Snowy River244,00026 April 1979
8Croajingolong216,00026 April 1979
9Yarra Ranges187,810December 1995
10Wilsons Promontory125,000July 1898
11Hattah-Kulkyne123,4907 June 1960
12Coopracambra96,0001988
13Mount Buffalo77,0001898
14Barmah70,4802010
15Lake Eildon68,6004 June 1997
16Lower Glenelg67,0001969
17Errinundra66,41015 July 1988
18Kinglake55,3007 March 1928
19Chiltern-Mount Pilot53,00030 October 2002
20Cobboboonee45,700November 2008
21Burrowa-Pine Mountain45,00016 May 1978
22Greater Bendigo42,03030 October 2002
23Warby-Ovens36,210October 2010
24Mitchell River35,430December 1962
25Kara Kara34,60030 October 2002
26Baw Baw33,000April 1979
27Heathcote-Graytown31,71030 October 2002
28French Island27,00028 June 1998
29Gunbower23,100June 2010
30Lower Goulburn23,000June 2010
31Brisbane Ranges19,07015 August 1973
32Mount Eccles15,1007 June 1960
33Terrick Terrick14,530June 1988
34Dandenong Ranges7,94013 December 1987
35Alfred7,5001925
36Mornington Peninsula6,6401 December 1975
37The Lakes5,9001956
38Tarra-Bulga4,98017 June 1986
39Port Campbell4,3005 May 1964
40Mount Richmond4,2807 June 1960
41Lind3,4001925
42Morwell1,40026 November 1966
43Point Nepean1,2002005
44Churchill67012 February 1941
45Organ Pipes38012 March 1972

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