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Scientists and rangers study marine life from the air

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Scientists and rangers study marine life from the air

Posted on 29 Feb 2016

Dambimangari Rangers are part of a broad based research team helping to sustain the unique environment of the Kimberley coastal region.

The CSIRO, WA Marine Science Institution and four Kimberley Aboriginal organisations have been surveying and monitoring dugongs, whales, manta rays, turtles and dolphins in the north-west coastal waters.

A conservation and monitoring strategy, mapped out at a three day course hosted by the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation, will be implemented this year.

Rangers have been taught, in theory and practice, how to conduct aerial surveys and how to interpret the information.

Dambimangari Healthy Country Coordinator Jarrad Holmes said the work would provide important information for the management of threatened and listed species of marine life.

He said the survey conducted late last year was a significant study.

“It will help us to manage our country and contribute to the conservation in areas which are our responsibility,” he said.

“The information will be used for satellite tracking and the identification of marine life hot spots so we can concentrate future efforts on areas where animals like dugongs are likely to concentrate.

“The same skills can be used to identify feral animals on land.”

Dambimangari Rangers are building long term cooperative links with CSIRO and other research groups to pave the way for scientific work in the unique Kimberley region.