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Habitat Matters

Why does habitat matter?

Animals, like people, need food, shelter, fresh air and water, and to be able to get from place to place. A balanced eco-system including a healthy natural bush environment provides all of the essential needs of life.

When we look at the bigger animals like kangaroos and emus, it is easy to see how they get what they need from the environment including food from the bush, shelter in the rocky areas and water from streams and ponds.

The tiny animals are even more interesting. Ants need soil or trees to live in to create their complex social structure colonies. Spiders need branches to attach their webs to to catch flying insects. Pythons need hiding places to ambush their prey from so that they can feed. Bees need flowers to get nectar to make honey to feed their young. Birds need trees to build their nests in to keep their eggs away from predators.

And the plants themselves rely on animals for pollination so that they can regenerate, to break down dead matter and turn it into nutrients, and to eat away excess foliage so that the plants don't smother each other, and to dig holes that aerate the soil and gets oxygen and nutrients to their roots.

Then of course there is the animals' reliance on each other, e,g, to alert them that predators are around (like the kookaburra calling when goannas are around), or or to actually be their food (like Biblies eating bugs), or to keep the bush healthy and free of disease (like Tasmanian devils cleaning the bush by eating animals that have died naturally). Animal species rely on the survival of other animal species for their own survival.

This is true for people too. People need animals and plants for food and to provide us with the materials we need to build clothing and shelters.

Less obvious, but absolutely critical to human survival, is the role that plants play in regulating the atmosphere and the weather. Growing trees trap carbon in their wood so that it doesn't escape into the atmosphere and make global warming even worse. Green plants' photosynthesise carbon dioxide releasing free oxygen for us to breathe.

So the act of helping to save animal habitat is not just because we want generations to be able to appreciate the animals and plants that we know today. Habitat matters because if the environment 'goes out of balance', it will affect the way we live and, probably, to a devastating degree.

Our Woodland Surrounds

Much of Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park is classed as Hawkesbury Banksia Scrub-Woodland in the Peats Ridge region.

This type of woodland structurally ranges from tall, dense scrub dominated by Banksia ericifolia to a more open scrub or low heath with young eucalypt saplings. Both types can be within one location depending on fire occurrence and history. Species that dominate this woodland are Eucalyptus haemastoma, Eucalyptus umbra, Angophora costata, Banksia serrata and Corymbia gummifera. At the lower storey Banksia ericifolia is dominant with shrubs such as Banksia oblongifolia, Epacris pulchella, Hakea dactyloides, Hakea teretifolia, Lambertia formosa, Leptospermum trinervium, Platysace linearifolia, Acacia linifolia and Acacia suaveolens. On the ridge tops Scribbly gum and Grey gum dominate the flora. Moving down the ridge, dominant flora includes bloodwood, angophora and teatree sp.

Threatened and restricted flora species at Walkabout Park include Darwinia glaucophylla and Grevillia diffusa sub sp. Filipendula.

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