Blue Mountains National Park
The Blue Mountains National Park is a national park in New South Wales, Australia. It is 81 km west of Sydney and it is located in the Mountains region of the Great Dividing Range. The national park covers over 268,987 hectares and 664,681 in acres.
The frontier of the park is somewhat unbalanced as it is broken up by roads, rural areas and in holdings. Regardless of the name ‘mountains’, the area is an elevated plateau, dissected by a small number of larger rivers. The highest point in the park is called Mount Werong and its 1,215 meters high while the lowest point is on the Nepean River which is 20 meters high as it leaves the park. Other conservation ethics of the park include the variety of Aboriginal sites and historic places protected in a natural environment. This park was created in September 1959. The heritage site was found by Captain Blaxland and Lawson in 1813.
This forest occurs on the ridge tops in the Blue Mountains is the plant community that most people visualize when they conjure up immages of the Australian bush. The predominant tree in this community is the eucalyptus tree, which is also characteristically Australian. The unique plants and animals that live here relate an astonishing story of the evolution of Australia's unique eucalypt vegetation and its associated communities, plants and animals. There are several larger mammal species found in the park.
The largest native carnivorous predator is the Quoll . The largest bird of the area is the Emu. It is an area of magnificent views, rocky tablelands, sheer cliffs, deep, inacce ssible valleys and swamps. More than 400 different kinds of animals live within the rugged canyons and tablelands of the Greater Blue Mountains.
These include threatened or rare species of preservation significance, such as the spotted-tailed quoll, the koala, the yellow-bellied glider, the long-nosed potoroo, the green and golden bell frog and last but not least the Blue Mountains water skink. The area is widely famous and widely used for sight-seeing, bushwalking, rock climbing, canyoning and other outdoor recreational pursuits.
Australia is experiencing significant environmental problems both on land and in its marine areas and numerous of these problems are interconnected. Clearing of trees and woodland is still substantial and apart from adding to emissions, have a number of other unfavorable environmental consequences for example on water systems. Blue Mountains River systems, estuary areas, coastal lakes and lagoons are suffering from serious environmental problems of which eutrophication is one of the more serious. Australia has a relatively high rate of clearance of native vegetation by world comparisons.
It is estimated, for example, that in 1990 the rate of clearing of native vegetation in Australia exceeded more than half of that in the Brazilian Amazon. This means that most herbivores will die out or extinct due to lack of vegetation.
Australian plants and animals have evolved to survive specific natural fire regimes. A fire regime is characterized by the intensity, frequency, season, size and type of fire. Changing fire regimes due to human impacts and climate change can be harmful to the environment. In the worst case plants and animals may become extinct if fire regimes change faster than they can adapt.
The typically sandstone soils in the Blue Mountains are highly susceptible to erosion in heavy rainfall. This is even more significant where urban development has led to increased velocity of stormwater flows in creeks and streams. Erosion can lead to poor water quality, weed invasion and habitat dreadful conditions.
Land contamination occurs when high levels of chemicals harmful to the environment or human health exist in the soil. This may occur where in the past there has been a service station, fuel depot, landfill or gas works on a site or where chemical