Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Weeds and Wrens Poem

Weeds and Wrens
a poem by Neil Hamaguchi, Project Officer, Environs Kimberley.

[December 2015]

This is a story of weeds and wrens – it’s just the beginning, don’t know where it ends 

Four Purple-crowned fairy wren in a rowThe creeks and the Rivers in Bunuba Land are some of the wonders touched by cattle and man

They came to this country because it had what they need but they also brought with them all sorts of seed

The Kimberley creeks where the sweet water flows, where everything’s green and anything grows

There’s so many species, some names we don’t know 

Malurus coronatus coronatus is one that we do- the Purple-crowned fairy wren if you ain’t got a clue

The creeks and the rivers are home for this bird the only environment where it can be heard 

Pandanus and canegrass and freshwater flow is the only environment this little bird knows

But its futures in danger, its life’s under threat- and it is not something that can be cured by a vet

Its home has been altered by cattle and man who scattered their seed on this unspoilt land

The flora and fauna are drawn to the creeks – they’re beautiful places that everything seeks

Neem tree control part of Bunuba weed projectNow what we have witnessed over years and years will tear at your heart it’ll bring you to tears

The creeks are now home to obnoxious weeds the long term result of those little seeds

The cattle all use them to fill up their tanks over years and years while ruining the banks

Now we have been working with Bunuba mob to take on this problem, to tackle this job

We weeded at Pigeon where Bellyache rules; it’s all on the banks around the nice pools

At Old Leopold we did much the same and at Yirramalay we did it again

We also did Parky and Neems as we went and with just a few people we made quite a dent

Well that’s a beginning I don’t know when it ends but I know we’ll be out there to do it again. 

Background

This poem tells the story of the work being done by Environs Kimberley and the Bunuba Rangers to eradicate weeds that are choking the habitat of the precious and endangered Purple-crowned fairy wren. This project is one of several supported by Rangelands NRM that is engaging Indigenous Rangers in works to protect threatened species, manage weeds and manage fire.

More stories about work to protect the Purple-crowned fairy wren:

Kimberley partnership building healthy country plan

Pastoralists and Indigenous rangers unite to protect Purple-crowned Fairy-wren