| || Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory has an area of nearly 7,800 square miles (20,000 km2), making it one of the largest parks in Australia. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1981 because of its cultural and natural importance, it is ethnologically and archaeologically priceless because it has been continuously inhabited for 40,000 years. Its many Aboriginal cave art sites (over 7,000) are testimony to the close relationship between people and nature. Kakadu also contains an amazing collection of ecosystems that are home to many rare or endemic plant and animal species. Because Australia separated from the rest of the world 150 million years ago, many species developed there and on neighboring islands that do not exist on any other continent; these include most of the marsupials, such as the kangaroo and koala. Kakadu alone can count 128 reptile species, 280 birds, 64 mammals, and 1,700 plants, as well as over 10,000 insects. New species are frequently discovered. Some animals are under threat, including the vampire bat, the estuary crocodile, and several species of turtles.
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