Rangers boost country skills
■ A dozen Ngurrawaana rangers have taken a step towards gaining conservation land management qualifications after a two-week oncountry training course around Gregory Gorge and the Portland River.
The indigenous rangers took part in fish monitoring, land surveying, species identification and four-wheel-drive training.
Ngurrawaana head ranger Kingsley Woodley said he was happy with the high participation rate.
“For us, Wuyumarri (Gregory Gorge) is a very important site we would like to keep developing and protecting from environmental impacts, so the fish monitoring as a continuous project on our lease is a good thing,” he said.
“We came across threatened species, so it will be interesting to see how their populations do over time.”
Ranger Isaac Guiness said the fish trapping had been a valuable skill to learn.
“I hope to do more training like this because it is a peaceful feeling working on country and knowing what species of animals we have on our beautiful land,” he said.
The program was aided by Greening Australia’s Pilbara Corridors Project, Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and Barefoot Training.
Barefoot Training trainer Simon Liddell said the rangers were motivated.
“It is always a joy to teach and work with these guys and to see their passion for their land,” he said.
“They were very keen and motivated to … learn more about it.”
The intent of the training is to give the Yindjibarndi people the skills required to monitor their land and recognise environmental changes before they become irreversible.
PCP co-ordinator Ostiane Massiani said the course had been rewarding for all involved.
“It was a very positive (atmosphere), with a lot of enthusiasm generated and willingness from the rangers to participate to all activities,” she said.
Ms Massiani said the rangers would be trained to use database software to collate field data and, once additional funding came through in 2016, would be able to move from paper to online records.
The result of the work will be a Certificate II qualification in Conservation and Land Management, expected to be achieved next year.
Ngurrawaana rangers conduct a fish monitoring survey.