#ParksforPeople – Tathra National Park

This park is located 35km East of Eneabba and 45 km West Carnamah on the Winchester-Eneabba Road. The name is derived from a Noongar word meaning “beautiful place”, and it is easy to see why, especially during the peak of wildflower season.

This open sandy country is called the “kwongan”. The kwongan contains over 2600 species of plants, over 70% of the species in southern Western Australia. Many kwongan species have specialised adaptations to grow in the low nutrient soils of this region and have deep root systems to obtain sub-surface moisture and specialised feeder roots in the humus layer.

Picture source: Western Australia for Everyone website.
Picture source: Western Australia for Everyone website.

Peas and sheoaks have root nodules that contain bacteria to fix nitrogen. Most species use fungi to aid nutrient uptake, either inside or surrounding the root sheath. Some plants are carnivorous, like the droseras (sundews), or parasitic like the quandong and nuytsia trees. Most plants have woody fruits to protect against fire, and these also provide an important food source for large cockatoos.

The magnificent floral display in spring indicates that many plants rely on birds for pollination. A large quantity of large and vibrant coloured flowers are required to satisfy their nectar requirements.

The biggest threat to these plants is the spread of dieback, a soil borne fungus that prevents the uptake of nutrients and moisture. Visitors are asked to do their bit to prevent the spread of dieback by ensuring no soil is brought into the reserve from other areas or taken out of the reserve (either on car tyres or shoes).

Information source: the Shire of Carnamah, Department of Parks and Wildlife and Western Australia for Everyone website.

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