Yintakaja (waterhole) helicopter mapping activities in Punmu provided an opportunity for elders Minyawu Miller and Waka Taylor to visit, and record the location of, a number of waterholes they had not visited since pujiman (bushman) days.
Discussions were held with the Punmu ranger team how these sites could be accessed from the ground in order to undertake maintenance work and ground based burning. Preparations were then made for a multi-day trip to travel to Pirningkujarra. This area had been visited by Punmu ranger Gavin Nanudie and elders Minyawu and Waka during the recent yintakaja helicopter mapping work.
The ranger team set out early in the morning in a two vehicle convoy. Several camels were culled and prescribed burning activities were conducted in the area. These burns targeted very large areas of country previously burnt in a wildfire and with a homogeneous age of spinifex regrowth. The burns were of low intensity and successfully created a large patchwork of burnt and unburnt country.
After a hard day’s bush bashing, and several flat tyres, the team made camp and the following morning set out to find Pirningkujarra. Over the course of the day and after numerous dune crossings, the two rock holes and one soak that make up the Pirningkujarra site were located.
Remedial work was conducted at all three sites with the soak being cleared of dirt and debris and fire breaks lit to protect all three water sources. Evidence of the negative impact of feral camels was noted at all three sites prompting the team to consider installing water monitoring devices as part of a joint water monitoring project with The Nature Conservancy Australia.