Category: Indigenous Land Management

Toogimbie IPA Vegetation and Bird Surveys

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By , May 21, 2014 10:06 am

Bladder SaltbushAustralian Wildlife Services undertook bird and vegetation surveys on Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) in April. Toogimbie are using their cultural access licence (water) as well as revegetation and pest management strategies to rehabilitate their wetlands. The wetlands have cultural and environmental significance in the region. Surveys focused on birds and wetland vegetation, in particular setting up of long-term monitoring transects and collection of baseline data. The Toogimbie Rangers will then be able to repeat the surveys over time to show environmental change as a result of their land management activities. Opportunistic records of frogs were also collected. Further surveys are still needed in bats, reptiles, mammals and water quality pending funding. Indigenous Protected Areas across Australia need more scientific support to undertake a range of environmental improvement activities. More information on Toogimbie IPA and the Nari Nari Tribal Council.

Toogimbie

Toogimbie

World Indigenous Network (WIN) Conference Darwin 2013

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By , May 15, 2013 10:52 am

AWS attended the World Indigenous Network (WIN) conference in Darwin in 26th-30th May 2013 to represent Angas Downs Indigenous Protected Area, Northern Territory with Senior Ranger David Wongway and IPA Manager Tim Lander.

The WIN Conference Program has a comprehensive agenda on land and sea management issues towards building an enduring World Indigenous Network. The World Indigenous Network Conference Program will cover five themes with a range of topics that are relevant and engaging to Indigenous and Local Community land and sea managers from around the world.

An article was written in the Sydney Morning Herald about the conference. Senior David Ranger made it into the newspaper (see his photo here).

Rangers Tim and David at WIN Conference

Toogimbie IPA & Nantawarrina IPA CyberTracker development

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By , May 14, 2013 4:05 pm

 

Toogimbie Start Screen

Nantawarrina Screen activitiesAWS visited the IPA Rangers from the Toogimbie IPA Hay, NSW and rangers at Nantawarrina IPA in South Australia to undertake some CyberTracker development and training between March and May 2013 as part of SEWPAC’s CyberTracker Program. We worked together to customise the GPS tracking program CyberTracker to fit the IPA work plan and needs. We developed sequences to GPS track feral animal and weed management, wildlife and birds, rainfall, fencing, cultural and burial site management, revegetation and seed collection, important plants, bushtucker, road maintenance, fire management, visitor management and more.
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Annual Reptile Trapping Event, Angas Downs IPA, November 2012

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By , December 12, 2012 1:29 pm

 

Strophurus elderi Jewelled geckoAustralian Wildlife Services and the Angas Downs IPA Rangers battled the 41 – 45 degree heat this November 2012 to undertake the annual reptile and small mammal surveys. Pitfall and funnel traps were used along 25 m fence lines, as well as active searches.

40-41 reptile species were recorded over a week and a half. No small mammals were captured, indicating a significant crash in populations after the recent boom. The surveys allow yearly monitoring of small mammal and reptile species on Angas Downs. So far, each trapping event has found additional species for Angas Downs’ reptile checklists. New species this year included Stimson’s Python,  Jeweled Gecko, Burton Legless Lizard and a Woma (unconfirmed – black and white remote camera). See the photos for a taste.

Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia

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By , December 11, 2012 4:03 pm


A/Prof George Wilson from Australian Wildlife Services and also representing the Australian National University, presented a case study at the recent 2012 Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia in Melbourne, 3-7 December 2012. The presentation was entitled ‘Western Science in Support of Indigenous Objectives – a case study’.

This conference is the pre-eminent conference on ecology in Australia, bringing together ecologists from academic, government and non-government backgrounds. ESA 2012 provides a valuable forum for researcher, land managers and policy makers to share advances in ecology and their implications for understanding our biosphere. The broad objective of the conference was: Ecology: Fundamental Science of the Biosphere.

 

Conservation in a Crowded World: Case studies from the Asia-Pacific

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By , December 11, 2012 3:18 pm

George Wilson and Jennifer Smits have authored a chapter in the recently published book: ‘Conservation in a Crowded World: Case studies from the Asia-Pacific‘. The chapter is entitled

Indigenous land use and conservation in the Anangu lands of central Australia (Chapter 6)

9781742233451

In an increasingly crowded world reconciling environmental ‘conservation’ with the ‘sustainable use’ of natural resources is now our greatest challenge. Nature conservation has traditionally focused on protecting iconic and important areas of biodiversity from human exploitation through the establishment of National Parks and World Heritage Areas. While this is essential, a narrow focus on protected area conservation risks overlooking local needs in areas where people and natural systems must co-exist.

This book addresses some key questions for the sustainable use of natural environments: What should be conserved and who decides? Is ‘use’ compatible with conservation, and under what circumstances? Are trade-offs between conservation and development necessary? How do we find those elusive ‘win-win’ solutions?

The Chapter 6 examines aspects of, and obstacles to, Indigenous wildlife management in Australia, focused on management by the Anangu people in central Australia.

Reviews: ‘This book covers an extraordinary range of issues in a way that is both compelling and readable. Can there be a more important topic?’ – Robyn Williams, ABC Science Unit.

Aerial surveys on Angas Downs 2012

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By , November 15, 2012 10:03 am

Annual aerial survey monitoring was conducted  on Angas Downs IPA in July 2012. These surveys complement surveys also conducted in 2010 & 2011. IPA Rangers and Jennifer Smits (AWS) counted animals seen at low level and 200 m 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. Some results are published below. No significant increase or decrease in any of the surveyed species was recorded between 2010-2012.

Since Angas Downs is such a vast area to survey, the variance and error of the datasets collected make it difficult to assess any significant change in the estimated population density. Good thing is Malu (red kangaroo) populations appear to be stable, and feral populations of horses and camels are appear to be decreasing (or not significantly increasing), undoubtedly due to the management actions of the IPA rangers. Densities of red kangaroos across Angas were estimated at 1.02 per sq km in 2010, and 1.13 per sq km in 2012. It was found that the southern area of the property was much more productive and watered, and supported more head of kangaroos than the northern sand dunes. Hence the aerial surveys were split in the north and south for 2012.

A report is being finalised and will be available soon. For more information on past Aerial surveys click here.


 




Remote IR Cameras and Foxes on Angas Downs IPA, Northern Territory

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By , August 21, 2012 2:33 pm

AWS staff and Angas Downs rangers have installed some remote infrared cameras across Angas Downs to capture native and pest animal movements to watering points. The cameras, 12 MP Acorn LT1  Night Vision cameras, have a blue flash that is invisible to animals. It records photos and videos in both day and night mode.

Captures include kangaroos, birds, horses, cattle, camels, emus, dingos, cats and foxes. Foxes hadn’t previously been identified as occurring in the area until these remote cameras were put in. Beautiful videos of Emus, Bronzewings, Hooded robins, a Little Eagle, Wedgetails, Brown Goshawks, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo checking themselves out in the water reflection, and Bourke’s parrots are some of the bird highlights.

The rangers will use the cameras to make management decisions such as where to set cat traps and to see which waters are important for native species and kuka (game species). The cameras will be even more successful when the landscape dries up.

Click here to see the Angas Downs remote camera video on youtube.com

ABC Country Hour also reported on Angas’ use of remote cameras – click here for transcript and audio.

 

ABC Interview on Red Kangaroos on Angas Downs

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By , June 26, 2012 3:02 pm

Local NT ABC Radio reporter Caddie Brain interviews Dr George Wilson, Australian Wildlife Services about kangaroos on Angas Downs IPA… Click here  for the transcript and to listen to the story.

” The team from Angas Downs Station are working hard to increase red kangaroo numbers on the former pastoral property. Rangers are reinstalling water points, undertaking aerial surveying and developing the facilities to become a release site for recovering roos who have fallen on some back luck (fenced roo enclosure).

Dr Wilson says the roo enclosure will became an educational tool and tourist attraction.

“It’s amazing, there’s very few places in Australia where tourists can reliably see red kangaroos in the wild yet it’s our national emblem. But the display is only part of a broader land management strategy to increase numbers on the property.”

“Eventually, with the support of the local Indigenous community, we’ll develop a sustainable hunting regime. This property is here to blend their continuing traditional needs with science.”

Windamara rangers visit Angas Downs IPA

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By , June 21, 2012 9:52 am

 

During May 2012, the Angas Downs rangers successfully hosted 8 IPA/WoC rangers from the Windamara Aboriginal Corporation from Heywood Victoria and Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area – as part of a Ranger exchange program. Angas Downs rangers showed them about their country, showed them their work on camel control, tourism opportunities and cultural sites. They also met the Angas Downs Emus and Kangaroos. Then the Windamara rangers went onto Uluru where they met the rangers there. Angas Downs Rangers will then visit them in Victoria. They will learn about how they go about their cultural heritage management and tourism.