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Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (April 2013)

Published: April, 2013

Rangers raise feral animal awareness

The CLC Indigenous ranger groups are working on ways to get their communities more involved in feral animal control and other land management issues.

The Anangu Luritjiku Rangers, based at Papunya, and the Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) Rangers been dealing with problems caused by feral animals such as camels, cattle and horses damaging important local springs.

Two of these groups have been working with Meg Mooney from Tangentyere Council’s Land and Learning Program, which is supported by the Federal Government’s Inspiring Australia project.

The Anangu Luritjiku Rangers produced powerpoint presentations on the destruction by feral cattle, horses and camels at Ulumparru Springs, near Papunya, and by feral camels at Ilpili Springs, west of Mt Liebig, and the rangers’ work to deal with these problems.

The rangers also produced a DVD on the damage by feral animals at Ulumparru Springs for a community meeting last December.

Using the presentations, rangers were able to lead discussions about a difficult local issue and seek support from their community to muster and transport or cull feral animals at these springs.

Rangers have also been able to tell a wider audience about the damage camels are doing at the springs and how the rangers are working to save them.

Anangu Luritjiku Ranger and Ilpili Springs traditional owner Terence Abbott made a presentation to Papunya School students, and ranger Denis Minor spoke at the recent ranger groups camp.

Meanwhile, with support from Inspiring Australia, Ltyentye Apurte Rangers have been producing booklets to tell their community about the work they have been doing.

The work has included fencing two large paddocks, one to hold some horses for traditional owners and trap unwanted cattle and horses, and the other to keep feral animals away from local springs.

Other work described in the booklets included controlled burning on the Simpson Desert Land Trust, a possum survey at Loves Creek and a flora and fauna survey near Maryvale.

Other projects supported through the Inspiring Australia project included:

• supporting the Ltyentye Apurte Rangers to involve local school students and traditional owners in monitoring of Hayes and Salt Springs.

These springs were fenced to keep out feral cattle, horse and camels by Greening Australia and a pilot Ltyentye Apurte Rangers group five years ago.

• A project proposed by two women Ltyentye Apurte Rangers to document bush medicine sites in the region with elders.

The rangers are documenting project preparation methods and uses of the plants, and the threats of over-harvesting, fire, weeds and feral animals at different sites. Next school term, the rangers will arrange for senior schoolgirls to come on some of the bush medicine field trips.

This project was developed at a CLC Women’s NRM forum and is now part of a bigger CLC bush medicine.