Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (September 2010)
Warlpiri bird knowledge
The rangers now include bird surveys regularly in their work plans.
The rangers put their skills to good use during a trip earlier this year with the CLC to Karrinyarra (Mt Wedge) as part of the Southern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area development process.
Traditional owners, CLC staff and an ethno-ornothologist worked together to train Yuendumu-based Warlpiri rangers in ‘two-way’ knowledge about birds and conduct a bird survey of the area.
More than 50 birds were recorded in both English and Warlpiri. Knowledge related to birds was recorded and will form the basis of an educational resource about birds in the Warlpiri region, which is being produced in conjunction with the Yuendumu School.
Elders shared information about particular birds, including the critically endangered night parrot. Senior traditional owners’ knowledge of bird habitats, behaviours and other important cultural and ecological information will be included in the Warlpiri bird book.
This trip also provided an opportunity to meet traditional owner aspirations to visit important sites on their country and conduct customary land management.