This research developed new monitoring tools for Indigenous land and sea managers. The project brought together Indigenous communities, rangers, researchers and other stakeholders on three case studies to develop data collection and monitoring tools that both support the needs of the local land and sea management group, and were also relevant to other communities in northern Australia.
The growing Indigenous environmental workforce situated across remote northern Australia is growing in capacity and becoming increasingly skilled, adopting new techniques and technology to better manage and monitor biodiversity. To support this effort Indigenous land and sea managers, such as rangers, need access to scientifically robust methods and techniques that are directly relevant to the work they are doing on the ground.
Monitoring programs that deliver data useful to regional and national planning will be of the greatest benefit to national and state planners and policy makers. However if monitoring programs and tools are not also practical and relevant to local needs and aspirations, they are unlikely to be supported and implemented in the long term.
The project involved three case studies. The research in all case studies was driven by Indigenous community priorities and supported the implementation of community-based plans. The project included extension activities like workshops and practical on-ground activities to share tools with other relevant groups.
Building on the NAILSMA’s I-Tracker program, all case studies developed data collection applications and associated mapping and reporting capabilities using CyberTracker TM software. These applications were used on rugged mobile data collection devices to suit the remote conditions in which rangers operate, including extreme weather. Community friendly support tools, such as field training handbooks were created with input from all project partners to complement these applications.
Dobbs, R., Davies, C., Walker, M., Pettit, N., Pusey, B., Close, P., Akune, Y., Walsham, N., Smith, B., Wiggan, A., Cox, P., Ward, D., Tingle, F., Kennett, R., Jackson, M., & Davies, P. (2016). Collaborative research partnerships inform monitoring and management of aquatic ecosystems by Indigenous rangers. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 26(4), 711-725. DOI: 10.1007/s11160-015-9401-2
|I-Tracker Turtle and Dugong Survey Field Book|
|Waterplant Guide - A guide to help ranger groups with the 'Waterplants' section of the I-Tracker Cape York Rapid Wetland Assessment (presentation)|
The project was led by Micha Jackson from NAILSMA. Project partners included:
The support of the Kalumburu, Beagle Bay and Port Stewart communities was instrumental in project implementation. Project outreach and sharing also occurred with many Indigenous ranger programs across northern Australia.
North Australian Land and Sea Management Alliance
08 8946 7673