The greatest threat to our native wildlife is loss of habitat or a place to live. National parks provide homes for wildlife - plants and animals. Soil type, landscape and climate conditions influence where plants grow. To survive and thrive, plants need water, sunlight and nutrients from the soil. Managing parks to protect plants can include:
- controlling severe wildfires which destroy vegetation;
- regular burning under controlled conditions to suit particular plant and animal species;
- excluding or removing grazing animals such as cattle and goats;
- removing or controlling the spread of weeds;
- controlling pests which eat or damage plants;
- prohibiting any collection of plants, flowers or seeds;
- limiting vegetation trampling and damage by managing visitor use;
- minimising clearing for any park developments; and
- replanting degraded areas.
Animals need a suitable and reliable food supply and places to shelter away from predators. Provided these basics are met, animals can successfully reproduce and multiply. National parks are ideal places for native animals. Animals are totally protected within national parks and, with few exceptions, cannot be hunted. Ways to protect animals include:
- fencing to keep out predators and competing grazing animals;
- controlling fires which can wipe out habitats and kill or injure animals;
- removing predators such as feral cats and goats;
- supplementary feeding when natural disasters strike;
- prohibiting hunting;
- excluding people when necessary especially during breeding seasons;
- limiting vehicle access to protect animals from roadkill;
- rehabilitating degraded areas; and
- protecting water quality in lakes and streams.
Parks are actively managed to conserve wildlife.