A stunning accomplishment at Southern Tanami

A new Indigenous Protected Area

We are proud to be involved with the declaration of the Southern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) which happened in July 2012. Covering a massive area of land – 10.15 million hectares – the IPA is roughly 1.3 times bigger than Tasmania!

We joined forces with the Central Land Council and Australia’s National Reserve System to support the Traditional Owners—mostly Warlpiri speakers—who continue to live on their country and oversee day-to-day operations of Southern Tanami IPA.

The decision to declare the Tanami desert as an IPA came directly from the Warlpiri people. The land’s Traditional Owners have managed it sustainably for thousands of years, and, working alongside Indigenous Warlpiri Rangers, they will continue to care for their country.

Over 70 types of birds call this area of the Tanami desert home; along with roughly 100 reptile species and other uniquely Australian threatened species such as the Bilby.  Fighting environmental threats such as weeds, feral animals and big wildfires require both traditional Indigenous knowledge and modern conservation science.

On the ground, we are helping to guide fire management activities facilitated by the Central Land Council’s Fire Officer and also assisting with limiting feral species and tracking threatened wildlife, including the Mulgara—a small, carnivorous marsupial that is closely related to the Tasmanian Devil.

The Southern Tanami IPA protects important pieces of the Northern Territory’s natural legacy including Lake Mackay—Australia’s second-largest lake—and an enormous swath of the Tanami Desert. The IPA links a variety of habitats including deserts and savannas, allowing Australia’s unique plants and animals the space they need to move around threats like wildfires and climate change.

Southern Tanami IPA is a crucial piece of the Trans-Australia Eco-Link, an ambitious project seeking to create a 3,500-kilometre corridor of land managed for conservation. When completed, the Eco-Link will stretch from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory to Port Augusta in South Australia, making it the largest conservation corridor initiative in the world! Absolutely amazing!

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