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Land & Water Management Issues In Kosciuszko National Park

806 words - 3 pages

Kosciuszko National Park covers over 680 000 hectares and various land and water issues must therefore be addressed and successfully managed. These issues include fire management, conflicting land use between tourism and conservation, between Europeans and Aborigines, and the Snowy Hydro Scheme and tourism, the threat to endangered species and the effect of introduced species.There are two main endangered species in KNP, the corroboree frog and the mountain pygmy possum. The corroboree frog is one of Australia’s most endangered species and has suffered a decline of over 70% in the past decade as a result of habitat destruction through tourism and habitat degradation through drought and bushfires. KNP has set up conservation programs to increase numbers including captivity breeding. The pygmy possum is another species which is seriously endangered and was even thought to be extinct. KNP has taken many measures to ensure breeding such as through construction of the “Tunnel of Love” so males could cross into the female habitat for mating. A small area of Perisher ski resort has also been closed to prevent disturbance to the possums’ hibernation patterns.Introduced species have created many land and water issues in KNP, such as foxes and wild dogs hampering dingo conservation efforts but mainly through the brumbies. Brumbies in KNP have caused soil compaction and erosion leading to polluting waterways, trampling of vegetation, spreading of invasive weeds and have various detrimental effects on population of native species. KNP has been implementing a plan to effectively reducing brumby population by mustering and trapping the brumbies and relocating them. This gradual reduction is vital to maintain the fragile ecosystem of the environment.There are various land use conflicts which are still debated and are important issues to be managed in KNP. The construction of the Snowy Hydro scheme was opposed by conservationists however it has provided vital energy and water for irrigation. The Snowy Hydro Scheme is a vast integrated water and hydro-electric power scheme, providing clean renewable energy and diverting the water for irrigation. The scheme, by diverting the Snowy River prevented the natural flow of the river to its lower reaches. Conservationists have argued the diversion has placed in the ecosystem surrounding the river in an environmental crisis. The State governments have responded to the environmental concerns by setting targets for returning the natural flow of the river, through a gradual decrease in diverted flows. As a result of the scheme however, many otherwise dry areas have been provided water for irrigation and as a result of the...

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