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Kings Canyon Flora Fauna

Watarrka National Park

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Kings Canyon / Watarrka National Park
Watarrka National Park and Kings Canyon is home to a variety of unique and diverse flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the native wildlife that can be found, as well as heard, around the gorge region.

Indeed, visiting during the different seasons and times of the year, will provide a greater opportunity to see plants flowering and fruiting. Weather conditions like heavy rainfall, often produce a spurt of new life, such as with some of the native frogs, that take the opportunity to lay spawn, producing tadpoles and more frogs.

Kings Canyon Flora and Fauna

Ring-tailed Dragon (Ctenophorus caudicinctus slateri) © Colin Leel, September 2006Flora and fauna that can be found in the region include:
  • Grey Shrike-thrush - they have a flute-like call which echoes down the gorge, sounding like ‘pp pip pip ho-ee.’
  • Desert Tree Frogs (Litoria rubella) - a small brown frog found around the edges of pools.
  • Centralian Tree Frog (Litoria gilleni) - a bright green frog restricted to permanent waterholes in the the range.
  • Waterpennies - these are tiny larvae of small beetles. They have a relative in America that resembles a US penny.
  • Floating Pondweed (Potamogeton tricarinatus) - a relic water plant. Look for its large leaves floating in rock pools.
  • Ring-tailed Dragon (Ctenophorus caudicinctus slateri) - the Ring-tailed dragons abounded on the rock formations in Kings Canyon.
  • Spinifex Pigeon (Geophaps plumifera) - This ground feeding pigeon can be seen running nimbly around and if flushed they fly off with their wings making loud whirrs.
     
  • Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale) - The Bush Tomato, also known as the Desert raisin and Akudjurra (Solanum centrale) is a bush tucker that has gained popularity in western cuisine.

Check out some of our Kings Canyon flora and fauna images.

CAUTION
The unripe fruit of the Bush Tomato contains the toxin solanine (the same as that found in green potatoes) and must be fully ripened before consumption.

There are many other Solanum species that resemble Solanum centrale, and only some of them produce edible fruit eg Solanum chippendalei and Solanum ellipticum. Some closely related species produce fruit that are toxic.
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