Tra­di­tional own­ers’ in­put in Na­tureMap

Pilbara News - - News - Tay­lar Amonini

Hun­dreds of unique records de­scrib­ing the bio­di­ver­sity of the West­ern Desert have been added to WA data­base Na­tureMap thanks to tra­di­tional own­ers through­out the Pil­bara.

Since 2008, Abo­rig­i­nal ranger groups from across WA’s West­ern Desert have col­lected bio­di­ver­sity data on threat­ened species and the threats they face, but there has been lit­tle in­clu­sion of data col­lected by tra­di­tional own­ers un­til now.

Range­lands NRM pro­vided funding sup­port to Kanyirn­inpa Jukur­rpa and Cen­tral Desert Na­tive Ti­tle Ser­vices’ land and com­mu­nity team to pro­vide the foun­da­tional and lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port to the var­i­ous ranger groups.

Kanyirn­inpa Jukur­rpa en­vi­ron­men­tal strat­egy and ser­vices man­ager Tris­tan Cole said for too long the repos­i­tory of the State’s bio­di­ver­sity data had shown a “black hole” over desert coun­try where tra­di­tional own­ers had been busy sur­vey­ing and col­lect­ing data.

“It’s fan­tas­tic to have Martu and other desert rangers’ work recog­nised and be able to fill in the gap that ex­isted on Na­tureMap,” he said.

“Look­ing af­ter and man­ag­ing coun­try is in­trin­sic to Martu — it is a re­spon­si­bil­ity that is founded in their cul­ture.” The Abo­rig­i­nal rangers are com­bin­ing tra­di­tional eco­log­i­cal knowl­edge with con­tem­po­rary nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment tech­niques to look af­ter coun­try and in­crease bio­di­ver­sity.

“The ranger pro­gram also pro­vides an im­por­tant plat­form for the in­ter-gen­er­a­tional trans­fer of the el­ders’ knowl­edge,” Mr Cole said.

Martu el­der Rita Cut­ter from Wiluna is a se­nior Martu ranger with the Bir­riliburu Women Rangers team who has been on var­i­ous ranger ex­changes.

She said projects like this en­abled her to pass on her knowl­edge two-way with sci­en­tists.

Pic­ture: Kanyirn­inpa Jukur­rpa

Ji­ga­long women carry out mon­i­tor­ing work.

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