Has Mutawintji National Park gone to the goats?

Posted by barbara on October 6, 2012

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Mutawintji National Park, in the north west of NSW, has been in the wars of late. The breaking of the drought and bouts of unusually heavy rains have left an obvious toll on the access roads, let alone the visitor car parks and camping areas.

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The access road to Mutawintji was in ruins in early January 2012, and who could blame National Parks and Wildlife Service for not attempting to repair the roads, throwing good money after bad, during a La Nina event.

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One's heart goes out to NPWS in the face of such unbelievable road carnage, with the bulk of the bitumen swept away on what used to be the main access road to the most popular walking tracks.

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While the roads can be repaired, a more worrying aftermath of the good rains has been the explosion of goats in the national park. ABC Radio National ran the following story on 3 October 2012.  http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3602483.htm

What chance of spotting a Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby peering down on us from a rocky perch when the scuttle above, time and time again, proves to be a resident herd of goats.

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This healthy looking 'billy goat' has presumably contributed to the explosion of goats, with more than 10,000 culled in recent years, and no end in sight.

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Cute as this kid might be, most park visitors would prefer a chance encounter with native fauna.

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With so much standing water in January 2012, no wonder the goats are thriving in Mutawintji and surrounding ranges.

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While one side of the gorge is home to wild goats, it was a relief to spot the odd roo on the opposite side, peering down from on high.

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With the temperature soaring above 45 degrees F, it was little wonder that this female Euro and joey made little move to escape as we climbed up the rocky track that led directly past their shady refuge.

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