Rangers play big quoll role

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph

A ranger group has been working with researchers to monitor threatened northern quolls.

Yandeyarra and Greening Australia have formed a ranger team in the Pilbara.

The partnership involves Yandeyarra rangers undertaking monitoring, research and management of threatened species with Sturt University researcher Harry Moore to manage declining populations of northern quolls.

The project is the continuation of Greening Australia’s work with Yandeyarra station and community.

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The team will continue to work holistically to look after their culture, country, people and environment and has set up remote-sensing infra-red cameras to monitor the predators on the Yandeyarra lease.

Greening Australia’s project officer Pip Short said having local rangers who lived on country being trained to undertake monitoring, research and management of threatened species was vital to ensure the survival of the species.

“The rangers already knew where quolls could be found on their lease,” she said.

“But it has been a great opportunity for them to be able to work alongside scientists to marry their traditional ecological knowledge about the species with new research.”

The research aims to enhance the ranger’s and other land managers capacity to conserve quolls, which have declined significantly in recent times, by providing them with a better understanding of the threats most likely to impact the population.

Habitat changes due to grazing and burning, cane toads, feral cats, foxes, and wild dogs are said to be the biggest threats.

Mr Moore said indigenous knowledge and understanding natural systems had been underutilized in the past. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to work within the Yandeyarra Indigenous Reserve, especially in partnership with the Yandeyarra rangers and Greening Australia,” he said.

“This project will deliver a comprehensive data set to be used in guiding future management intervention in the Pilbara region for northern quolls.

Mr Moore said it was encouraging to have the support of the traditional land owners for the project, which would deliver a comprehensive data set to be used in guiding future management intervention.

The project is funded through State NRM under the Community Capability Grant Scheme and is association with research undertaken in the Pilbara by scientists in the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Those interested in the project can contact Pip Short, pshort@greeningaustralia.org.au.

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