The introduction of sheep and cattle, Foxes, domestic cats, rabbits and cane toads to Australia has lead to the extinction of many small native animals. Introduced plant and animal species compete for land and food. Super phosphate and irrigation changes the soil and makes it inhospitable to native plants adapted to dry low phosphate conditions.
Reintroducing plants provides a habitat and food for birds and other native animals, which have adapted their diet and taste to the these plants. Koala's, for example, eat only particular species of Eucalypts. Birds, small mammals and insects have learnt when to feed on the nectar of Banksia Flowers. The plants too have adapted and need these animals for seed dispersal, pollination and pruning. Their droppings and scratchings help the soil.
Revegetation of degraded land, with native species, even in the centre of Sydney provides habitat and food for native birds. The Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery raises and plants tubestock to revegetate pockets in Annandale. See also Native Plant Species List
The forests that covered the Sydney basin provided valuable hardwoods and termite resistant timber. Buildings which used the timber from species such as Cyprus Pine have remained termite free, without the need of toxic pesticides.
While it is unlikely that Kangaroos could co-habit with cars in urban areas, smaller animals and koala's probably could and possums do. Feral and pet animals eliminated many smaller native animals. However, there are Koalas living at Cambelltown
Waratah Park on the northern outskirts of Sydney provided an opportunity to see native animals outside cages. A 30 acre area has been fenced of and cats and foxes have been removed. Small native animals such as betons and numbats have been reintroduced and are thriving. Visitors could once walk amongst some extremely friendly kangaroos, bettongs, possums and numbats. Waratah Park Video Clip
Author: Marghanita da Cruz
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