uluru-kata tjuta

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What’s in season at Uluru?

Bush tomato | Image credit Stanley Breeden What’s in season in the park this year might be different from what’s in season next year - it depends on the amount of rainfall and our fire management regimes. A number of native plants that will soon be ripe or seeding include mangata (native quandong), ili (_native fig), _untungu (bush banana), and wangunu (woolly butt grass). You’ll also find kampurapa (bush tomato) in the park at the moment.

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Woma python makes rare appearance at Uluru

The warm weather has brought this woma python out into the sunshine PhD candidate Drew Dittmer thinks this one may be a female heating up her body during the day in order to develop her eggs more quickly We’ve had a most unusual visitor at Park Headquarters over the last few weeks, this woma python - or as the locals call it, kuniya.

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Artists create song for Uluru

From left Daisy Walkabout, Nyunku Jingo and Judy Trigger with songwriter and vocalist Stewart Gaykamangu Stewart Gaykamangu writing lyrics Uluru’s traditional owners have taken part in producing a song to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ayers Rock Resort. The song, Tjukurpa Ninti, means ‘spirit knows’ in Pitjantjatjara and reflects the spiritual nature of the world-famous destination. With lyrics in both Pitjantjara and English, it’s a heartfelt representation of the special nature of the landscape.

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Parkies join forces to blitz harmful rabbits at Uluru

Members of Parks Australia’s first official ‘Rabbit Blitz team’ have returned to their day jobs and it is feeling a little quiet here. Volunteers from across the Department of Environment recently joined us at Uluru to help with the eradication of feral rabbits that were over-running our mala enclosure. What we achieved together was miraculous, particularly given the extreme heat we were working in! Over just two weeks we mapped and fumigated every warren in every section of the paddock, completed a paddock-wide calicivirus release and also finished half the reinforced fencing work as an extra protection against reinvasion from the outside.

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Mala build survival skills

The eagles watch and wait One of the wedge-tailed eagles takes in the views! At Uluru, a pair of wedge-tailed eagles are keeping our mala on their toes and teaching them some valuable survival skills. Wedge-tailed eagle sightings are quite rare at Uluru but we currently have a breeding pair residing here. The clever birds are nesting in our mala enclosure, where they hope to catch a quick and easy snack on their doorstep.

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Caring for Uluru wildlife

is surveyed in the park every five years. The survey was completed in January 2014 Uluru’s rare creatures are being surveyed under the expert eye of the natural and cultural resources team. Preliminary data indicates a decrease in the endangered tjakura (great desert skink) – which is likely to be the side effect of wildfire that swept through much of their habitat in 2012. Numbers of the rare arutju (fat-tailed antechinus) also appear to have declined since 2009, possibly due to an increase in feral predators (particularly cats), and a lack of rainfall in the six months before.

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Tour guide workshops

The next info day is on the _mala_ captive breeding programme Uluru’s first tour guide information session for the year focused on rock art. Two tjilpi’s (senior Anangu men) and two wati’s (junior Anangu men) hosted the session, with two of the park’s natural heritage staff helping out. The guides were able to ask senior Anangu man Reggie Uluru questions and hear firsthand the meaning of motifs at the Mutitjulu art site.

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Good tour guides make a great impression

Cultural heritage officer Craig Woods talks about the significance of rock art at Mutitjulu art site We want visitors to leave Uluru with a deeper understanding of the history and culture of this special place - and tour guides play a huge role in this. Guides introduce visitors to Uluru’s ancestral beings like Kuniya and Liru who left marks in the face of Uluru as they fought.

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Junior rangers thirsty for knowledge

Greg discusses the operation of one of the bores that draws water up from an underground aquifer right beside Uluru Uluru’s junior rangers have been out in the park learning about water as a renewable resource - and discovering the aquifers, bores and tanks that supply their drinking water. The bore water drawn up beside Uluru is is piped to large water tanks and treated before supplying the park and the local community of Mutitjulu.

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Importance of Uluru’s waterholes

A knob-tail gecko with its original tail - above Knob-tail gecko with regrown tail PhD student, Drew Dittmer is back in the park to continue his studies into the park’s amphibians and reptiles. Drew is using pitfall traps at 26 sites around the base of Uluru to find out what types of animals are using the waterholes. Our concerns grew from unexplained frog deaths in some waterholes – and the discovery of unusually high levels of bacteria in water samples taken by junior rangers.

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