Vegetation is generally sparse in the park. Canegrass and scattered clumps of mulga and acacias grow on the red sand dunes and the occasional stand of acacia can be seen on the coarse gibber tablelands. Nitre-bush, samphire, needlebush and native willow are also found in the Lake Eyre area. After heavy local rain the landscape bursts into colour and is surrounded by a sea of grass-green foliage. The flowers produce an abundance of nectar and seeds that attract many insects and in turn, flocks of birds.
After heavy local rain the area becomes a blaze of living colour edged by verdant green. When these plants burst into flower, their nectar and seed attract insects and birds.
Generations of desert animals have had to adapt in order to survive in the harsh environment of Kati Thanda such as the Lake Eyre dragon. This lizard lives out on the dry lakebed eating ants and sheltering under the salt crust on the deep mud layer.
If you are lucky enough to visit during a flood you may witness the lake hosting a chaotic community of breeding birds that have flown thousands of kilometres from as far away as China and Japan.
Under the waterline, bony bream and hardyhead, shrimp and perch all begin their own breeding and feeding frenzies as water fills the lake. The Lake Eyre hardyhead can survive in water up to 15 times saltier than seawater so it can continue feeding and breeding as the other fish around it succumb to the salty water as the fresh water evaporates.
Flora and fauna species lists
To download flora (plants) and fauna (animals) species lists for this park, use the 'Create Simple Species List' tab under 'Flora Tools' or 'Fauna Tools' in NatureMaps.