Category: Angas Downs

Reptile trapping Angas Downs IPA — Late season March’12

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By , April 11, 2012 2:57 pm

AWS and Angas Downs rangers undertook late season reptile trapping on Angas Downs IPA in March ’12 in order to better understand species occurrence and abundance throughout the year. Traps consisted of drift nets with combination of pitfall (buckets) and funnel traps. Results were surprising with many of the species caught in November 2011 no longer present, and new species not caught before now showing up in the landscape. New species not caught before on Angas Downs included the narrow banded sand swimmer Eremiascincus fasciolatus, the first live capture of a Yellow-faced Whipsnake Demansia psammophis (juvenile), Canegrass Dragon Diporiphora winneckei and Ctenotus brooksi. Species count for Angas Downs is now: 51 reptile species, 4 amphibians, 99 birds and 10 native mammals (including 1 bat).

Encouragingly, species not seen since 2010 were trapped including Pale Knob-tailed Gecko Nephrurus laevissimus, Desert Banded Snake Simoselaps anomalus and Interior Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops endoterus. Interestingly, no small marsupials or mammals were captured during the period although remote IR photographic capture of Spinifex hopping mice and track evidence show they are still in the landscape. More trapping is planned for October-December 2012.

For previous survey results visit click here and for species checklists click here.

 

Indigenous Heritage Project – Rotary support

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By , March 28, 2012 7:39 pm

AWS is coordinating a survey of Angas Downs to locate Indigenous Heritage.

 

Angas Downs Rangers in South Africa

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By , October 18, 2011 2:40 pm

Angas Downs Rangers visited South Africa in October 2011 on a training and educational trip of a lifetime. The itinerary included visits to national parks and private game reserves. Topics covered

  • intensive wildlife management and techniques for increasing wildlife numbers, and catching and moving of wild animals
  •  importance of the dollar value of animals in both national parks and private game reserves to wildlife conservation
  • Indigenous guiding  and game viewing, tourism and accommodation support
  • role of fire and vegetation management conservation of wildlife and land management

The Rangers, who had never left Australia before, visited staff in Kruger and Mokala National Parks, and the South African National Parks Headquarters in Kimberley, the South Africa Wildlife College where they met students from all over Africa studying Wildlife Management and Conservation. Opportunities for collaboration and exchange are being explored.

The rangers were also lucky to view sustainable Springbok meat harvesting practices on private game reserves and see the contribution that hunting, game trading and ecotourism were making to sustaining conservation.

The Rangers nearly had celebrity status at the International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, South Africa in Kimberley with everyone wanting to have a photo with them. Many people came to the talk they presented on the Indigenous Protected Area and Working on Country programs and Angas Downs. A summary of the events at the Symposium are shown here.

And on the very last day, the Rangers were extremely lucky to experience traditional dance and culture of the San from the !Xun and Khwedam speaking tribes (relocated mainly from Angola)  in the satellite community Platfontein near Kimberley. Despite pressing poverty, the community is able to continue to practice and teach their culture thanks to the “Footprints of the San program” run by the San Institute and supported by the South African Government. The Rangers were impressed with the very colourful traditional dress and involvement of what seemed the whole community. The clapping sticks used by the San and red paint were also very similar to that used traditionally by Aboriginals  in Central Australia. The Footprints of the San program will eventually provide an exciting and unique tourism experience for people visiting South Africa and hopefully opportunity for economic development and employment within the community. A video of the traditional dance and song will be uploaded shortly.

Much was learnt from the South African  wildlife conservation, ecotourism and community development  programs. There were many parallels between community issues in South Africa and in Central Australia. The Rangers have taken these experiences and lessons back to their family and community in central Australia.

The trip to South Africa would not have occured were it not for kind donations of the Mutitjulu Foundation, Qantas, SEWPAC and Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin. Thank you to these sponsors – the trip was a huge success.

 

The International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, South Africa

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By , October 18, 2011 9:49 am

AWS staff and Angas Downs’ Indigenous Rangers sent a delegation to the International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, South Africa in Kimberley in October 2011. The theme of the Symposium was – The business of conservation – science, livelihoods and values. “The greatest contribution that wildlife ranching can make is in its extension to rural peoples throughout the world and the benefit from its sustainable use.”

Three papers were delivered:

George Wilson (Australian Wildlife Services) Status of wildlife ranching in Australia – an overview

Jennifer Smits, George Wilson, Tim Lander, Brad Lander, David Wongway and Darren Williamson  Indigenous land management for sustainable land and wildlife use on Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area, Central Australia

George Wilson and Jennifer Smits (Australian Wildlife Services) Australian conservation through sustainable use of kangaroos

The Rangers were honoured guests at the Symposium with Ministers and delegates jumping at the chance for a photo with the group. They made a presentation on the types of land management they are undertaking and progress with their work on Angas Downs IPA and how it relates to cultural maintenance.

The Rangers  secured generous funding from the Mutitjulu Foundation to enable them to attend from Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area, Northern Territory. Australian Government programs and Rotary Groups also supported the delegation. Other activities and learning adventures undertaken by Angas Downs Rangers in South Africa can be viewed here.

Angas Downs Rangers with the Premier of North West Cape

Indigenous Heritage – new recording of sites on Angas Downs

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By , September 13, 2011 12:50 pm

During August-September, Indigenous Heritage surveys of rock art and artefact sites on Angas Downs was undertaken by Aboriginal elders, Australian Wildlife Services, Angas Downs Rangers and volunteers. Significant discoveries were made including rock painting and carvings sites and areas with abundant stone tools. The project which is ongoing, aims to locate and document unrecorded heritage sites, assess site condition, consult with traditional owners and community and formulate monitoring and management plans to protect the sites. The new sites have cultural importance as well as tourism potential for the Anangu owners of Angas Downs. Discussions to lead tourists to the sites will take place after assessment of site condition and management plans are in place. Anangu elders have asked to keep the locations and photos of the paintings confidential until Anangu elders are able to discuss their aspirations.

Angas Downs IPA Field Report 2010-2011

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By , August 3, 2011 4:06 pm

The Angas Downs IPA field report for 2010-11 is now available. The report outlines the results of biodiversity surveys and landscape health surveys completed on the Indigenous Protected Area during that period.

The report can be downloaded here Home (0 downloads)

 

Video of Angas Downs Rangers at work

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By , March 2, 2011 9:30 am

A video of rangers carrying out their duties on Angas Downs is available on Youtube: Video. It has been prepared for the rangers to present to the Indigenous Protected Areas Managers Meeting held in Jervis Bay, NSW and the Central Land Council Ranger Camp, Ross River, NT, March 2011.

‘Dinner for Angas Downs’ with special guest Barry Cohen

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By , November 29, 2010 10:54 am

Angas Downs Dreaming

Thank you to all that attended The Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin’s “A Dinner for Angas Downs” at the Brassey Hotel, Barton,  ACT, Thursday 25th November 2010. Approximately 100 guests flocked to the Brassey Hotel to hear about progress with Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area and to hear from special guest speaker The Hon Barry Cohen AM. Money was raised for Angas Downs with proceeds from the tickets, donations and money raised during an auction of Aboriginal artwork, game meat products and emu eggs.

The Guest Speaker, The Hon Barry Cohen AM, delighted us with tales from his life and books about being a Minister for the Environment  1983 to 1987 in the Hawke Government.  Barry Cohen admits that the funny side of his profession kept him sane through thirty years as a politician.  With his hilarious stories about life in politics, Barry has led a post-political life as a speaker and commentator.

His books are: Life with Gough (1996);  From Whitlam to Winston (1997); The Almost Complete Gough (2001); and The Life Of The Party  (1987).

Extremely entertaining and a good night was had by all.

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The evening raised funds for Rotary-backed development projects supporting the Aboriginal community at Imanpa in central Australia. The community holds the pastoral lease to Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area. Through tourism and increasing the numbers of preferred wildlife species, Rotary is supplementing support from the Department of Environment to integrate conservation of wildlife with commercial opportunities, strengthen land and culture connections and improve Indigenous health and well-being. Important initiatives that need funding include installing solar power and rain water tanks, improving property communications and starting a quandong nursery.

More details on Angas Downs can be found on Wikipedia at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angas_Downs_Indigenous_Protected_Area

Donations are still welcome.

To find out more info: george.wilson@awt.com.au

Reptile surveys on Angas Downs IPA record 38 species

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By , October 12, 2010 3:40 pm

In October and December 2010 and March 2011, AWS and Angas Downs rangers surveyed reptiles and small mammals across Angas Down’s landscapes. Surveys were conducted using pitfall and funnel traps and active searches. The surveys were completed between 2-9 October, 7-9 December 2010, 8-9 March 2011. 38 reptile and 4 frog species were recorded. Of note, Simoselaps betholdi (Jan’s Banded Snake), Suta punctata (Little Spotted Snake), Demansia psammophis (Yellow faced whipsnake), Tiliqua multifasciata (Centralian Blue Tounge), Ramphotyphlops endoterus (Interior Blind Snake), Pygopus nigriceps (Western Hooded Scaly-foot), Nephrurus laevissimus, Nephrurus levis levisMorethia ruficauda and Egernia inornata (Desert Skink) amoung others were recorded. The Reptile checklist can be downloaded   Angas Downs Reptile Checklist (940 downloads) .

The surveys also found 6 species of small mammals – Echidna, Kultarr, Wongai Ningaui, Spinifex Hopping Mice, Sandy Inland Mice and Lesser Hairy Footed Dunnart. Some can really bite – see photo.

Aerial Surveys to estimate populations of Camels, Kangaroos, Horses…Angas Downs, NT

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By , August 4, 2010 1:30 pm

Australian Wildlife Services successfully completed aerial surveys of the Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area and surrounding lands in June 2010 and August 2011. The surveys were flown by Dr George Wilson using standard procedures.  IPA Rangers and Jennifer Smits (AWS) counted animals seen at low level and 200m on either side of the aircraft. Species targeted /observed included camels, kangaroos, horses and cattle.

These studies are vital to understanding populations of kangaroos and pressures from camel and horse populations on the property and hence native wildlife.  In 2010, we found there are about 3000 red kangaroos on the station, plus 500 camels and 150 horses. Using mapping program ArcGis, observations were interpolated to form maps showing spatial variability (animals/km2).

Angas Downs Aerial Survey Report (879 downloads)