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Wiluna Country project continues to reduce critical threats to key fauna

Media Release

20 October 2015

Traditional Owners, pastoralists, mining companies and government agencies on Wiluna native title lands in Western Australia (WA) will continue work together to reduce the main threats to key threatened and vulnerable fauna species, including the malleefowl and greater bilby.

Rangelands NRM, with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, is supporting a second phase of the project run by Central Desert Native Title Service (CDNTS), which builds on partnerships with mining companies and other partners in the area.

Rangelands NRM Operations Manager, John Silver said the project spans a number of properties, tenures and land uses within the East Murchison and Carnegie subregion to implement both traditional and contemporary natural resource management (NRM) practices.

‘Multiple partners are working together to protect habitat and share skills and resources,” he said.

‘The project brings together Indigenous, pastoral, government and industry partners to create a network of important habitat areas for the protection of threatened and vulnerable species, as well as contributing to improving broader biodiversity conservation outcomes at a regional scale.”

Mr Silver said a particular focus for the work would be the properties of Jundee, Windidda, Ululla and Matuwa (former Lorna Glen Station).

Land use in the Wiluna region is dominated by pastoral and mining activities, interspersed with land managed primarily for biodiversity conservation values.

Mr Silver said there is an opportunity to take lessons learnt from 13 years of ecosystem restoration on properties purchased by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife (Lorna Glen and Earaheedy ex-pastoral leases and apply them to other properties.

Central Desert’s General Manager–Land and Community, Rob Thomas said this work so far is providing meaningful employment to Wiluna Traditional Owners on Country, improving landscape health and threatened species habitat.

“There is a particular emphasis on engaging women Traditional Owners in this phase of the project, utilising their unique skills and traditional ecological knowledge to look after these important species and to improve the health of country more generally,” Mr Thomas said.

“Wiluna land managers will benefit from training and other knowledge sharing and capacity building opportunities and will be central to the coordinated planning and on-ground management activities.”

He said one of the outcomes is a greater understanding of the location of malleefowl populations through malleefowl monitoring and mapping activities.

The project includes working with pastoralists and mining companies to better protect biodiversity assets and to combine pastoral management with biodiversity management.

“We are continuing the project with the aim of sustainable future for the region – with healthy landscapes and healthy communities,” Mr Silver said.

-ENDS-

IMAGE:

From Left: Yvonne Ashwin pointing out some tracks to Jackie Courtenay while Kaye Bingham, Margaret Anderson and Julia Williams look for tracks elsewhere in a plot at Jundee. (©CDNTS)

NOTES FOR EDITOR:

Rangelands NRM
Rangelands NRM WA is a not for profit, non-aligned, community-based group which aims to enhance the sustainable management of the WA rangelands through facilitation, collaboration and delivering outcomes. It is the largest of the 56 NRM regions in Australia, covering around 85 per cent (2,266,000 sq km) of the WA State’s land mass, and 75 per cent of the coastline. http://www.rangelandswa.com.au

Contact:

Teresa Belcher, Communications Manager, Rangelands NRM, WA, Tel: 08 9468 5250
Mobile: 0488 594324, Email: teresab@rangelandswa.com.au