Ranger teams busy in the field

In July the Punmu rangers joined with staff from Nifty Mine and Parks and Wildlife Services WA to undertake work within Karlamilyi National Park.

The team collected remote sensor cameras that were placed out on country last season. When the photos were inspected evidence of a wiminyji (Northern Quoll) was found.

The team undertook mankarr (bilby) monitoring and controlled burning to protect the area and improve food sources.

Aerial burning was also conducted targeting large patches of spinifex amongst fresh summer fire scars. Trained Martu bombardiers, Neil Lane and Ned Booth, and ranger coordinator Daniel Johanson showed the other rangers how the aerial incendiary machine worked and how it was operated in the chopper.

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Both Neil and Ned explained the use of the machine in language and the training focussed on helping female rangers feel comfortable with the chopper and the machine with a view to future training. The exercise was very successful with the Martu bombardiers providing the bulk of the instruction and a number of female rangers expressing a desire to undertake formal training.

The Kunawarritji ranger team participated in a successful waru (fire) week which comprised of helicopter and ground burning. Fire breaks were put in around the significant cultural sites and ground burning was conducted around Gary Junction, Well 34 on the Canning Stock Route and along the Wapet Road towards Punmu.

Aerial burning covered a large area of country surrounding Kunawarritji with the burns helping to break up the homogeneity of country and hopefully providing buffers and breaks to stop the spread of hot season wildfires.

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The Kunawarritji team welcomed the new ranger coordinator Shane Clugston (Cluggo) and his wife Maureen (Mo) to the community. Cluggo and Mo have a breadth of cross-cultural work and experience from living and working in locations such as Saudi Arabia and Brazil where Cluggo and Mo taught English, and Arnhem Land in the NT where Cluggo was a ranger coordinator with Northern Land Council.

Members of the Kunawarritji and Punmu ranger teams joined together for eight days to visit a number of sites along the Canning Stock Route and the Percival Lakes region. The rangers checked tourist permits along the Canning Stock Route and handed out information packs.

The team paid their respects at Mukurutu’s grave site at Well 40 before heading off-country towards the lake region. Throughout the journey the team visited the birthplace of some of the ranger’s families, visited a number of important cultural sites, undertook controlled fire work and cleaned out several soaks. The teams were exhausted but happy on their return back to communities.