Nyamba Buru Yawuru, whose traditional lands cover 5300sq km of subtropical coastal and inland savannah country around Broome in Western Australia, are
exploring opportunities to develop a predator-free wildlife sanctuary on their country. If a fenced feral predator-free wildlife haven was established
on Yawuru country it would be the first in northern Australia and the first to be led and managed by an Indigenous organisation. Mike Wysong,
the Indigenous Protected Area Coordinator, told us about Yawuru’s recent visit to Canberra to see the Mulligans Flat sanctuary and the opportunities
a haven could open up for Yawuru.
The Kimberley is a massive region which has unique ecosystems across its land and sea, and much of its land tenure is under Indigenous control. While there are many Indigenous ranger groups and conservation projects, there are no fenced safe havens in the Kimberley. The Yawuru community is largely unaware of what havens are or the benefits they may offer, so we sent a Yawuru delegation to Canberra in September 2019 to visit Mulligans Flat so that we could get a first-hand understanding of what fenced safe havens are and how they work.
The delegation of nine people included Indigenous rangers, senior Yawuru Traditional Owners and staff from the Environmental Services unit of Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY), the operational company for the Yawuru native title holders.
Yawuru Rangers Eduardo Maher and Sharee Dolby present Ngunnawal custodian Richie Allan with a pearl shell from Yawuru country. Image: Bradley Moggridge
Many landscapes in Australia are fire-prone, and increasingly so. Altered fire regimes can have a serious negative impact on threatened plant species and ecological communities. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project is working to better understand the effects of different fire regimes on threatened flora in order to improve fire management strategies and conservation outcomes.
Almost a quarter of Australia’s possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law, and many more are showing signs of decline. Dr Rochelle Steven from The University of Queensland believes people in the community can do a lot to support conservation, especially in urban areas.
The detection and monitoring of threatened species have been a strong area of research in the National Environmental Science Program and also the two national environmental research programs which preceded it. Hub Director Professor Brendan Wintle takes a look at what we’ve been achieving and why it is so important to the conservation of Australia’s threatened species.
In 2009, the Christmas Island blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko were headed for imminent extinction. Parks Australia acted quickly to collect remaining wild individuals in order to establish captive breeding programs on Christmas Island and at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, which have been highly successful. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project team is working closely with Parks Australia to help secure a future for the two lizards beyond captivity.
The silver-headed antechinus and black-tailed dusky antechinus are carnivorous marsupials found in high-elevation forests in parts of central-eastern and south-eastern Queensland. They were only described in the past six years, but they are already listed as Endangered. Knowing where they occur is essential for effective conservation, but current distribution knowledge is patchy. To address this, PhD candidate Stephane Batista in partnership with the Queensland Herbarium and Queensland Department of Environment and Science is modelling the habitat where these threatened species are likely to occur, and is using detection dogs to rapidly survey these sites.