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Environmental Impacts: Simpson Desert

A presentation to describe the environmental impacts on the Simpson Desert ecosystem
by

Dom Clarke

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Environmental Impacts: Simpson Desert

Introduced species such as foxes, hares, feral cats and feral camels are a very big problem in the Simpson Desert. They eat much of the small wildlife and a lot of the vegetation that native animals rely on for life. Introduced Species There are more than 150 bird species, 17 small mammal species, four types of frog and 54 reptile species - the highest reptile biodiversity of any arid zone in the world. Some of the native species in the desert include the Water-holding Frog, the Mulgara, Grey Grasswren, the Eyrean Grasswren, Perentie, Sand Monitors and Bearded Dragons. Native Species There are many different animal species that live in the Simpson Desert. These are both native and introduced species. Fauna There are thousands of species of plants that exist within the Simpson Desert ecosystem. Mostly they are drought-resistant shrubs and grasses especially Zygochloa paradoxa grass that holds the dunes together and the spinifex and other tough grasses of sides slopes and sandy desert floor between the dunes. There are also Mulga trees, Coolabah trees, Emu Bush and occasionally wildflowers (after rain). Flora The Simpson Desert contains a plethora of different species of both animals and plants. What lives in it? Where is it? The Simpson Desert is a thriving ecosystem that is very important within Australia. There are many interrelationships within the ecosystem that are essential for life. It consists of many abiotic and biotic factors which help it to operate. Facts and Figures The Simpson desert is is a large area of dry, red sandy plain and dunes in Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland in central Australia. It is the fourth largest Australian desert, with an area of 176,500 km². There are many changes to the ecosystem that have effected the relationships within it Environmental Impacts Environmental Impacts and Recommendations for Change Australian Ecosystem: The Simpson Desert There are many abiotic factors within the ecosystem:
The temperature ranges from 36-39C in Summer and 18-24 in Winter
Average rainfall is only 150mm per year
There are 4-5 sand and/or dust storms per year
The sand mostly made up of quartz grains and its red appearance comes from iron oxide that appears after weathering. Abiotic Factors Although human impact in the Simpson Desert is admirably minimal, the impacts of introduced species is a big problem in the Simpson Desert ecosystem. In the future something needs to be done to limit or eradicate these impacts. Some strategies could include:
Regular, humane culling of feral species.
Providing rewards to the public for them helping to humanly cull the animals.
Put chemicals onto native plants that won't hurt the plants or the native animals that eat them, but if a feral animal eats that plant (or another animal that eats the plant) then they die.
Put very strict bans on anyone trying to import any more species into the country.
Recommendations for the Future
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