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Pulu Keeling (North Keeling Island) was proclaimed a national park in December 1995 in recognition of its importance on a global level. Combining rare qualities such as its oceanic location, isolation, diverse and abundant wildlife and natural integrity, the island plays a significant conservation role in today's populated and urbanised world.
The proclamation of Pulu Keeling as a national park ensures the long-term conservation of the island's unique biodiversity. It also safeguards its natural and historical attributes for the benefit of local, national and international communities.
When atolls are formed they contain no terrestrial life, which means that all plant and animal life must reach them by crossing the ocean. This feat of survival results in only the hardiest species of flora and fauna flourishing on the island. Pulu Keeling National Park houses the very last remnants of the original Cocos Keeling Islands flora and includes species found nowhere else on Cocos.
Pulu Keeling National Park is one of the few remaining pristine tropical islands in the Indian Ocean and is therefore an internationally significant seabird rookery. Most of the seabird species sighted on the island also breed there, and it is one of the world's largest and most significant breeding colonies for the Red-footed Booby.
Access to the park can be hazardous and the island's habitats and animals are sensitive to disturbance by humans. Public access is only permitted in the company of Parks Australia staff or licensed tour operators. Please check with the staff at the Parks Australia office for current visitor access requirements.
Pulu Keeling National Park is the final resting place of the remains of the infamous German Raider, the SMS Emden, which was sent to destroy the Direction Island Cable Station in November 1914. A battle raged between the HMAS Sydney I and the SMS Emden. Being totally outgunned by the Sydney, the captain of the Emden finally ran his vessel aground. Not much remains of this once mighty warship, however, it is now protected by the Historical Shipwrecks Act. 2014 will witness the 100 year anniversary of the 'Battle of Cocos', Sydney Emden 100.