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Freshwater research and monitoring: Lama Lama Rangers

The Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation’s Lama Lama Rangers are based at Port Stewart, in the Princess Charlotte Bay area of the Cape York Peninsula. The rangers look after both land and sea country, and are responsible for the management of a number of important freshwater sites across their country.

Managing the threats affecting local waterways is a high priority for the Lama Lama Rangers, as these sites are both culturally and environmentally significant. A collaborative case study funded by the Northern Australia Hub of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) is providing an opportunity for the Lama Lama Rangers to work with local NRM group South Cape York Catchments, and experts from Griffith University, to enhance their capacity to address threats including weed invasions, sedimentation, and damage from feral animals (especially pigs).

Through the case study, the rangers are undertaking repeat in-depth ecological condition assessments for a number of key wetlands, allowing evaluation of the success of various management actions. Using I-Tracker applications as part of the research program helps to engage the rangers more fully in the research, as they are already proficient in the use of the software and handheld devices. Researchers from Griffith University are also adding to the community’s understanding of freshwater habitats by using their recently developed techniques of processing satellite imagery to generate an historical dataset of inundation patterns, turbidity and aquatic vegetation dynamics. 

A key outcome of the case study will be the development of a rapid assessment tool and accompanying I-Tracker application. This will allow the rangers to conduct regular evaluations of freshwater wetland health on their country as part of their ongoing environmental monitoring and management programs.

Find out more

Articles, publications and presentations

Video: Working together on Lama Lama wetlands

Lama Lama wetlands get a health check-up

Links to other websites

NERP Northern Australia Hub project page