Vandals have trashed a Noongar sacred site after driving quad bikes and trail bikes over the area and using it for what appear to have been wheelies and burnouts.
West Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife said rangers discovered extensive damage to the Blue Lake at Mt Roe National Park, the lake area is a registered Aboriginal cultural site.
A spokeswoman told NITV the damage to the site near the town of Denmark was extensive, while there was further damage to a site with rare plants nearby in Mt Lindesay National Park.
“There were numerous trail bike tracks across the dry lake surface, including circle work. There was also damage to sensitive moss beds on the granite outcrops of Mt Lindesay," she said.
A 2011 survey of the site for Denmark Council reported that quartz and granite artefacts had been found at the site and that the lake was likely to have been an important water source and provider of aquatic food.
“This site was reported as an important traditional camp site, water source and mythological site on the Denmark River system. It was also stated that Noongars still visit and camp at Blue Lake.”
The report also said the area was likely to have been a corroboree site due to its, size, location and the presence of a large number of lizard traps.
There vandals also caused extensive damage to rare plant species according to Parks and Wildlife district manager Cameron Shaw.
“Illegal trail bike riding poses a significant threat to the high conservation values within the national park, which is known for a range of rare plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the world,” he said in a statement.
“Mt Lindesay and Little Mt Lindesay are important areas for rare plant species – there are five declared rare species and 26 priority-listed species in Mt Lindesay National Park.
“Motorbike and quad bike tyres can carry a significant amount of soil and increase the chance of spreading dieback, a soil-borne pathogen which attacks the roots of susceptible plant species."
Only licensed bikes can be ridden in WA national parks and only on marked roads and trails.