9. Introduced Native Plants and Animals
The Committee of Management, soon after its appointment, adopted a policy of stocking the National Park with native animals and plants of a kind which were believed to be either in danger of extinction or rare enough to warrant special effort to increase their number.
It was anticipated that in time, the Promontory would become the place of sanctuary for Australia’s vanishing wildlife.
There was no simple way of gathering and transporting flora and fauna from more remote habitats safely to the sanctuary, consequently only a small variety of species of animal was released into the park.
During a period of a little over thirty years not much more than 270 beasts were released, which included 27 mammal and reptile species and nine species of bird. Sixty species of trees and shrubs were introduced either as seeds or seedlings.
The following list includes all the introduced species of animal and plant for which records have been located. Some of those names, signified by the symbol #, were known to be indigenes of the Park, but, perhaps, it was considered that the existing population needed reinforcement.
There was always the possibility that the introduction of a fresh strain would have an invigorating effect on the indigenous strain although it was equally possible that it would have the reverse effect.
Other species were brought into a habitat to which was they were utterly unsuited and, naturally, they failed to survive.
In a few instances the introduction must have been made more in a spirit of politeness than in accordance with planned policy. One animal on its own, unless it happens to be a pregnant female, will obviously never establish the foundations of a family yet, on several occasions, single specimens were accepted as gifts and released…
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