Aboriginal land managers: Pests & Weeds Roadshow

June 18, 2018

Aboriginal land managers have joined forces to fight the spread of yellow crazy ants, electric ants and weed species that are threatening the Wet Tropics region.

More than 30 Aboriginal rangers in 11 organisations across the Far North shared “home turf” identifications at a recent Wet Tropics Pests and Weeds Roadshow that included visits to infestation areas from Mossman to South Johnstone.

Terrain NRM’s Rowan Shee said rangers looked at yellow crazy ant and electric ant infestation sites in the Cairns region and a range of invasive weed infestation sites from a hiptage area near Mossman to a Mexican bean tree infestation near Garradunga, north of Innisfail.

“We also learned more about pond apple at a site in East Trinity, glush weed at Babinda Creek, and Miconia, Kosters Curse, Mikania vine and Limnocharis,’’ he said.

“Sharing knowledge across regions will help to build awareness, highlight potential issues and and increase the likelihood of early detection and control of infestations.”

The Wet Tropics Aboriginal Land Managers Pest and Weed Roadshow was a two-day field trip for both Aboriginal ranger groups and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service indigenous rangers, funded by Terrain NRM through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Participants and speakers came from Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation in the Daintree area, the Douglas Shire Council, Abriculture in the Cairns region, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Djunbunji from East Trinity in Cairns, Innisfail’s Mamu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Kuranda’s Bulmba Ranger group, the Wadjanbarra Tablelands Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation, the Yarrabah area’s Gunggandji PBC Aboriginal Corporation and the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

Wadjanbarra’s Jai Joseph said seeing the weeds and pests on site, rather than in documents or books, would be a big help in identifying them later. He said his group was already working out a new strategy for monitoring weeds and pests on his country around Atherton and he gained some great insights into management strategies in neighbouring areas during the roadshow.

Mamu’s Corey Boaden said learning amongst traditional owners from all over the Far North had been invaluable.

“It was great to work and learn together with other groups. Now when we’re walking through Country we'll be able to recognise new weeds that we might have walked past without knowing what they were,’’ he said.