Gangalidda & Garawa Ranger Coordinator
On the 18th October 2017 a ceremony was hosted by the Gangalidda People in Burketown to celebrate the opening of the new Flyway Network Site Nijinda Durlga (Tarrant).
The ceremony welcomed representatives from the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage, together with the local community including Traditional Owners from across the region and participants from the Savannah Guides School.
Situated 30km north of Burketown, the Flyway Network Site Nijinda Durlga (Tarrant) was nominated by the Gangalidda People and is the second of its kind supported by the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation’s (CLCAC) Land & Environment Program. It joins the Karumba-Smithburne (Delta Downs) Site which was added in December 2014. The inclusion of this second site will provide greater opportunity for the Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers to conserve the 38km of coastline that is essential for threatened species, as well as fulfilling their cultural responsibilities to care for land and sea country. The nomination of this site illustrates the proactive steps taken by the Gangalidda People to preserve the ecological value of their country on a global scale.
As part of the ceremony, presentations were led by Murrandoo Yanner, Chairperson of the Gangalidda & Garawa Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (GGNTAC), Terrence Taylor, Gangalidda & Garawa Ranger Coordinator, Thomas Wilson, CLCAC Chairperson, as well as respected ornithologist Roger Jaensch who has spent significant time working in the region.
Murrandoo Yanner and Terrence Taylor reflected on the importance of Gangalidda country for migratory shorebirds and the cultural responsibilities given to Gangalidda & Garawa Rangers for current and future conservation management.
“The Gangalidda People are proud to have this site recognised in the Partnership. The successful Tarrant nomination represents the hard work that our rangers do to make sure these shorebirds keep coming back” Mr. Yanner.
Roger Jaensch described the journey of migratory shorebirds through an informative story tale which starts in the Arctic Circle and ends in the mudflats of the Southern Gulf region. This non-stop voyage sees these birds reach the Nijinda Durlga site as skin and bone. Mr. Jaensch explained the importance of the site on a global scale and how CLCAC participating in this conservation initiative will assist to protect critical coastline where the shorebirds roost and feed before their return journey.
Thomas Wilson gave a closing address reflecting on the CLCAC’s achievement of supporting two Flyway Sites within the region and upcoming shorebird surveys to be carried out in the Wellesley Islands. In early 2018 the Wellesley Island Rangers will collaborate with Roger Jaensch to carry out baseline surveys on these remote islands. Surveys will increase knowledge of how shorebirds use the lower Gulf and reflect the CLCAC’s regional approach to conservation management.
As the 125th site added to the EAAFP, the Nijinda Durlga (Tarrant) site will play an important role as part of a global network in the survival of species such as the Far Eastern Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper and Red Knot.