Porongurup National Park

Porongurup National Park has one of the richest varieties of plants in Australia with more than 700 native species within the park’s 2,621 hectares. With its diverse wildlife, tall karri and open jarrah forests, and massive granite domes, the park is a haven for birdwatchers, photographers and wildflower enthusiasts who are drawn by the sheer beauty of this place. Porongurup National Park is also significant for a number of invertebrates that have a link to the Gondwanan supercontinent, when Australia was joined to present day Africa, South America and Antarctica, before they broke apart some 150 million years ago. Isolated several times by higher sea levels, most recently around 55 million years ago, the cool mountain gullies within Porongurup National Park serve as a haven for insects, primitive spiders and land snails. Many of the relict species in the Porongurup Range and in neighboring Stirling Range are more closely related to invertebrate species found in mountainous areas of eastern Australia or on other Gondwanan continents such as South Africa, than to the drier, low-lying areas surrounding the range.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Department of Conservation and Land Management, Stirling Range and Porongorup National Parks Management Plan 1999-2009

    The climate of south western Australia has changed significantly over the last 10 000 years and is believed to be at its most arid at present (Courtney; 1993).

    Fire may also affect a number of the recreational activities which are focused on the mountain peaks by temporarily altering vistas; walking access and the condition of campsites.

    The rate of spread of fires burning upslope is also increased.

    Wildfire poses another potential threat to Park visitors.

    For example; allowing fuels to build up to high levels within either Park carries with it the risk that when a fire does start; it will burn at high intensity; have a considerable impact on the vegetation and be difficult to suppress; even during mild weather conditions.

    Fires normally spread via the litter layer on the forest floor except under extreme weather conditions when flames may engulf the entire forest canopy.