Members of Norseman’s Ngadju community are working to protect and conserve the vulnerable malleefowl and care for key sites in the Great Western Woodlands (GWW) of WA. Managed by Gondawna Link, the project aims to build the capacity of the Ngadju community to manage their traditional lands, including the protection and conservation of threatened species, with an initial focus on malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), a ground dwelling bird with a ‘vulnerable’ conservation status. The group are also actively undertaking bush fire training.
The group have developed a Conservation Action Plan (CAP) as a first step for Ngadju people in taking back responsibility for managing our country for conservation of the places, plants and animal that make our country healthy. This will be a guide when developing management strategies for priority targets within their exclusive possession area while having the flexibility to be changed and updated as priorities and threats change over time.
The CAP process identified a number of severe conservation threats facing the area, including altered fire regimes and invasive species.
The CAP process has been instrumental in assisting Ngadju to share and document their traditional knowledge. A methodology identifying survey and monitoring protocols has been developed in partnership with the National Malleefowl Recovery Program for GWW vegetation system as a direct result of the Ngadju project. These protocols are now also being employed by Ngadju for other malleefowl survey work undertaken on behalf of the mining industry and government agencies.
Over 30 Ngadju have been directly involved in the Indigenous Land Management Cert III training and Conservation Action Plan workshops involving knowledge transfer and merging the tradition and western sciences to benefit future land management and 12 attended a bush fire training workshop (from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services) to assist them to manage and prevent fires when on country. This led to Ngadju participation in fighting the Dundas Bushfires of November 2015, alongside the Dundas Rural Bushfire Brigade. The program has also broadened to support establishment of the Ngadju Womens Group, coordinated out of Norseman. Ngadju members’ work with environmental weeds, after completing herbicide training, leading to the identification of an outbreak of Noogoora Burr south of Norseman, followed by measures to control its spread and eradicate the plants in partnership with key stakeholders. Team members also learned new skills during cactus control work on the Nullarbor under supervision of an experienced cactus control contractor, resulting in a new awareness of succulent environmental weeds.
Peter Price, Gondwana Link
Mike Griffith, Ranger Coordinator
Video–Ngadju Fire Training
“From the support we’ve been able to give so far, Ngadju have made great progress in establishing a very real, well thought out and well recognised land management presence. We’re delighted to be supporting such positive and rapid change.” Keith Bradby, Gondwana Link CEO