Care of Dhimurru’s land and beaches is among the best in Australia despite a lack of resources in the remote region. Thanks to the hard work and support of Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation Sea Country Facilitator Vanessa Drysdale, the Yolngu traditional owners and custodians’ capacity to look after the local environment has reached award-winning levels. Recognised for her dedication and contribution to sustainably managing our land, water and biodiversity, Vanessa is the winner of the 2015 NT Landcare Awards for the Australian Government Landcare Facilitator or Coordinator category.
The award winners were announced at an Awards Gala Dinner on 11 November as a highlight of the Territory Natural Resource Management Conference at the Darwin Waterfront from the 10-12 November 2015. In 2014, Dhimurru rangers were also named the national winner of the Clean Beaches Australia Award for Keep Australia Beautiful.
The Black-footed Tree Rat is the Territory’s latest native mammal species to face the possibility of extinction. Normally inhabiting the savannas of Northern Australia, from Cape York Peninsula across to the Kimberley in Western Australia, the Black-footed Tree Rat’s population has dropped by around 40 per cent. A number of factors have contributed to the species becoming endangered, including predation by feral cats, intense and frequent regional bush fires and land clearing for development. Greening Australia’s Director of Conservation Dr Brooke Rankmore said the Black-footed Tree Rat has been identified as being vulnerable for a number of years.
“It has been listed as vulnerable at the Territory level for several years and in July this year it was listed as endangered on a national level by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Brooke said.
Brooke will facilitate a workshop on threatened species management in Darwin on 12 November as part of the 2015 Territory Natural Resource Management Conference. Brooke has been in the Territory for the past 15 years, working closely with Indigenous rangers and the pastoral industry to research endangered species.
“The workshop will bring people together from different sectors and from different parts of the Territory,” Brooke said. “It will allow people to discuss priorities across their regions and what strategies can be implemented to improve the risks to threatened species in the Territory.”
The workshop will look at the recently released Australian Government Threatened Species Strategy, with an expert panel outlining the specific issues facing the Top End. There will also be opportunity to discuss threatened species management in the Northern Territory, focusing on the best way to address the biggest threats to at risk species.
The Territory Natural Resource Management conference brings together people working in natural resource management from across the Northern Territory. TNRM Chief Executive Officer Karen May said the conference was the perfect forum to highlight the work done by thousands of people who work to protect the natural areas, native species and habitats in the NT.
“It is also a good platform to discuss land and sea management and how we can improve our practices to reduce impacts on vulnerable species such as the Black Footed Tree Rat,” Karen said.