5 Fascinating Critters to Find in Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park
Home to more than 21 native mammals, 178 species of birds and 73 different types of reptiles, Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park delivered an impressive line up of wildlife for a seemingly harsh environment. Here's a spotlight on 5 interesting animals found in this unique ecosystem.
Remember, stay safe, stay on the marked paths and don't touch or feed any wildlife, big or small.
Thorny Devil - NGIYARI
Surviving the extreme climate of the Red Centre is no easy feat, but this lizard has a specialised system to ensure that it doesn't go without precious water. The spikes on its body form narrow channels that, through capillary action, draw water directly to the lizard's mouth. This means that it can collect any dew drops left on spinifex grass after a cold night in order to quench its thirst.
Rufous-Hare-Wallaby - MALA
This small wallaby plays an important role in the cultural history of the area. The Mala people, our Indigenous ancestors, long ago travelled to Uluru to escape an evil dog-like creature, the kurpany. Their journey is a songline - a path taken by a creator-being and recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance or paintings. Today, these sacred animals are extinct in the wild, but are found in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park as part of a dedicated conservation program.
Blue Tongue Lizard - LUNGKATA
Did you know there are actually six different species of blue-tongue lizards? Aptly named because of its blue tongue, the lizard uses this blue surprise as a defense mechanism to ward off predators. You can learn more about the blue-tongue lizard, specifically called Bruce, at the Red Desert Reptiles Show. The shows are run in the morning and afternoon and offer the opportunity to get up close and hold or touch Bruce as well as a range of other reptiles.
Splendid Fairy-Wren - MIRILYIRILYI
Standing out from the crowd comes naturally to these 'splendid' birds. Much like the peacock, the male of the species is blessed with all the beautiful trimmings when in breeding season. Either in a stunning cobalt or violet blue, these birds live in groups and are often spotted foraging for food at the base of Uluru in amongst the shrugs.
Mulgara - MURTJA
These ginger coloured marsupials are endemic to central Australia and survive in an extensive burrow system where they hide from the heat of the day, popping out occasionally to sunbathe. However, don't be deceived by appearances, they may look cute, but are actually one the top predators of the spinefex country, feasting on insects, spiders, lizards, mice or even young snakes.
Find out more about Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.