Quolls, black-flanked rock wallabies and bilbies
In August, the men's and women's Punmu and Parnngurr ranger teams visited Desert Queen Baths to undertake surveys for wiminyji (Northern Quoll) and warru (Black-flanked rock wallabies). Working with staff from Parks and Wildlife 29 wiminyji traps and 14 warru traps were set. Punmu ranger Neil Lane assisted Judy Dunlop from Parks and Wildlife in collecting DNA samples and micro-chipping the wiminyji. In addition to the survey work, three water sites in the area were visited and mapped and the cultural and historical information associated with them was shared by Punmu elders Nyanjabayi Chapman and Minyawu Miller. For many of younger rangers this was their first visit to the area and provided the opportunity for them consider future works plans for the country, such as fire management, while in the presence of the elders.
In September, Dr Anja Skroblin from The Nature Conservancy and Tracy Carboon, KJ’s healthy country support coordinator, visited Punmu to evaluate the methodology used by rangers for mankarr (Bilby) monitoring in the area. Over the course of a week several sites close to Punmu were monitored for mankarr activity using two different methods and discussions were held with rangers regarding which method they preferred using and which they thought was the most effective. Elders were also consulted regarding monitoring and management activities and passed on information about the historical distribution of mankarr in the area with younger rangers translating and recording.
At the end of October the Punmu men and women ranger teams travelled to Jamparri clay pan to conduct a bird survey and test the water quality of the wetland. Eighteen species of birds were recorded including Brolgas, Red-necked Avocets, Caspian Terns, Grey Teals and an Australian Hobby. In addition to the larger trips the teams have also conducted numerous day trips, collecting bush foods such as wamurla (bush tomato) and kipara (bush turkey) and maintaining important water sites.