A new project in the Wiluna region will bring multiple partners together to manage key threatened animals, protect habitat and share skills and resources in the interest of sustainable landscapes and communities.
Funded through Rangelands NRM, and managed by the Central Desert Native Title Service (CDNTS), the innovative partnership model will bring together Indigenous, pastoral, government and industry partners to create a network of important habitat areas managed primarily for the protection of threatened and vulnerable species as well as contributing to improving broader biodiversity conservation outcomes at a regional scale.
The project will focus on the management of key threatened and vulnerable fauna species such as Malleefowl, Crest-tail Mulgara and the Greater Bilby.
Rangelands NRM Program Manager (Southern Rangelands) Jane Bradley said the Ecologically Sustainable Rangelands Management (ESRM) methodology of land use planning capacity is being used to enable the Wiluna NRM community to collaborate and undertake shared activities around threatened species protection.
Land use within the Wiluna region is dominated by pastoral and mining activities, interspersed with land managed by Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) primarily for biodiversity conservation values (Lorna Glen and Earaheedy ex-pastoral leases). Mining companies hold a number of the pastoral leases within the region and one is held by an Indigenous corporation (Windidda Station). These properties have been conservatively managed for a number of years.
Ms Bradley said considerable lessons had been learnt from 13 years of ecosystem restoration on Lorna Glen and Earaheedy.
“The opportunity exists to take these learnings and apply them to other properties in the region to enhance habitat and protect existing populations of the targeted EPBC listed species,” she said.
Addressing the threatening processes for these species will also have complementary benefits for other threatened or high priority species in the region.
Project Manager from CDNTS, Hamish Morgan said as the sub project is within Wiluna native title lands, it was critical that this project be designed from the ground up with community so that it delivers on local drivers, skills and aspirations.
Based on previous experience, this will be managed by ensuring the activities connect with Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and NRM skill sets, remain culturally appropriate, providing employment opportunities and having some flexibility to modify the project to meet changing issues or aspirations.
The capacity of Indigenous land managers will be built so they will be able to deliver natural resource management services and collaborate with other land managers across different tenure types and land uses through training and on-ground activities.
For more information, contact Rangelands NRM or Hamish Morgan (CDNTS)
Photo: Wiluna Rangers and pastoralists Rex Ward inspect erosion, Jundee (©CDNTS)