I’ve started working on an exciting project in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ). We’re aiming to refine the ability of indigenous ranger lead monitoring to detect changes in population status of the bilby in the remote western deserts.
This work forms just one small part of the Martu Living Deserts Project. A project that is supporting Martu people in fulfilling their aim to conserve the cultural and natural values of their native title determination area, which extends over large parts of the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts in Western Australia.
Threatened species monitoring is one of the activities carried out by Martu ranger groups when they work on country to manage cultural heritage and ecological values. We’ll be working with the rangers to refine the way monitoring is conducted so that population trends of bilbies, and the effectiveness of current land management practices to conserve native animals can be assessed.
I’ll be working closely with KJ and the Martu people to use traditional ecological knowledge where possible when designing the monitoring program. Over the coming months, I’ll be making visits to the remote deserts of Western Australia and can’t wait to learn more about the people and ecology of the area (plus have photos to share then too!).
This project will be bringing together quantitative ecological analyses, remote field work, traditional ecological knowledge and unique Australian fauna (four wonderful things). The research will also form a case study for monitoring rare species in remote areas within the National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
Make sure you come back to check for updates as the project progresses.