Watarrka and Uluru Wildlife
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and Kings Canyon (Watarrka) National Park, are home to many interesting animals. These animal residents rarely pose any threat to humans, but there are a couple you need to take care around.
Southern Marsupial Mole
This unusual creature lives a highly secretive life underground.
Weighing between 40 and 70 grams, southern marsupial moles are rarely seen but sometimes surface after periods of rain. They live in dunes and other sandy areas, ‘swimming’ through the sand and backfilling their tunnels behind them.
Their diet consists of ants, beetles and larvae. The female mole has a backwards-facing pouch like the koala and wombat.
Known as itjaritjari to Anangu, the marsupial mole is an important ancestral creature. Minyma Itjaritjari is an ancestral being that lived in a cave in the side of Uluru, in the same valley as the Mala people. She was friendly with the Mala women and would often come out of her cave to watch the children play.
King Brown Snake
The king brown snake, or liru, is a large venomous snake. Like most snakes, it tends to avoid human contact and will only bite if disturbed.
If you see a snake in the park, keep your distance.
Native Australian Dingo
The dingo is a native canine closely related to the common dog. They usually avoid humans but may also be curious and watch people from a distance.
Dingos are wild animals with sharp teeth, so never try to touch or feed them.
Scavengers, leaving rubbish, leaving food in bags outside etc ? Dingos are scavengers – do not leave anything lying around…
Native Frog Species
Uluru-Kata Tjuta is home to four species of frog that have adapted to desert life.
Known as water-holding frogs, these hardy amphibians bury themselves deep in the sand where the temperature is constant. They have tiny spade-like structures under their feet to help them dig.
When the rain is heavy enough to soak down to where they have burrowed, the frogs know that the waterholes and creeks are full. That’s when they emerge to breed, often in huge numbers.
After breeding they bloat themselves full of water before burying themselves in the sand again.
Frogs are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever is available, including ants, termites, beetles, flies, spiders, grasshoppers and moths.
In extremely dry times, Anangu would dig up these frogs and squeeze the water out of them for a drink.
Found in central Australia is one of our most famous burrowing frogs – the water-holding frog (Cyclorana platycephala). “The water-holding frog forms this really amazing waxy cocoon just through secreting things through their skin, which basically waterproofs them,”