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Ranger Programs

Ranger groups across the Top End of the Northern Territory

Caring for Country rangers operate across almost 200,000 square kilometres of land owned by Aboriginal peoples in the Land Council's area, which includes about 87% of the Northern Territory’s. Ranger groups provide a formalised structure for the transfer of traditional knowledge from old to young, as well as being a vehicle for the training and employment of young Aboriginal people living in remote areas.

To support the ranger groups' activities the Caring For Country unit has developed partnerships with a number of external funding agencies including Territory and Federal Government departments, various research bodies such as the Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre and the Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management, the Natural Heritage Trust and the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
As more ranger groups join the ranger network, Aboriginal peoples' ability to care for country and manage pests will also increase. This growing capability is already recognised at a national level, with Aboriginal rangers now also playing important  roles in border security and quarantine protection.

The Ranger Groups:

Bulgul Land and Sea Management ranger group:
The Bulgul Land and Sea Management program manages 36,000 hectares of land and sea country across the Delissavale/Wagait/Larrakia Land Trust and undertakes extensive weeding, fire management and beach patrolling works
This ranger group also utilise both chemical and biological solutions for weed management works, which focus on Mimosa and Olive Hhymenachne.
Core activities: Invasive species control (weeds, animals), fire management (managed burns and wildfire response), beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, environmental monitoring (soil, water, native species), sacred site protection, cost recovery works, compliance.

Garngi Land and Sea Management ranger group:
The Garngi ranger group undertake work across approximately 110 000ha's of land and sea country at Croker Island and nearby mainland areas of cultural connection. Garngi rangers often work closely with the Warramunburr, Mardbalk, and Adjumarllarl ranger groups to restore the integrity of biodiversity in the northern sector of the internationally-significant Murganella flood-plain. A key area of this work is the removal of Mimosa pigra, Mission grass and Coffee Bush.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, environmental monitoring, sacred site protection, cost recovery, compliance.

Mardbalk Land and Sea Management ranger group:
Mardbalk rangers manage more than 440,000 hectares of land and sea country, including the Goulburn Islands and adjacent mainland areas of cultural significance.  Invasive animals such as horses, pigs, and goats are managed on the islands, as well as buffalo and bantang on the mainland. A number of pig infestation sites have been targeted for management during the reporting period.
The ranger group also undertakes crocodile and fire management work alongside the  Garngi and Adjumarllarl ranger groups. Extensive weeding and burning work was undertaken around the Northern reaches of the Murganella floodplain, with particular focus on Mimosa control. Beach and sea patrol work is conducted in conjunction with Fisheries NT. The ranger group also identifies and documents sacred sites for protection and management.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net learance, cultural support, environmental monitoring, sacred site protection, cost recovery, compliance.

Malak Malak ranger group:
The Malak Malak ranger group us active in managing the intense invasive weed infestations across 30 000 hectares of land bordering the iconic Daly River.
The ranger group breeds and distributes biological control species and have demonstrated high levels of success in eradicating dense infestations of Salvinia weed, as well as impacting upon Mimosa infestations.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, cultural support, environmental monitoring, sacred site protection, compliance.

Mimal ranger group:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mimal rangers operate across 600,000 hectares of rugged central Arnhem land country. Funding from the Aboriginal Benefits Account (ABA) has facilitated extensive matrix burning to optimise biodiversity and defend against wildfire invasion. Mimal rangers also conduct active cultural support programs, including patrolling for and documentation of significant traditional art sites and native plant species.The group has also been active in protection of springs and billabongs where damage has occurred due to buffalo and pig activity. Large areas of native grasses critical to the survival of Magpie Goose populations have also been protected.
Mimal rangers are among five ranger groups delivering the internationally recognised West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement project (WALFA), a project that is receiving payment for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere by implementing a traditional fire management regime.
Core activities: Invasive species control,f ire management, cultural support, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Numbulwar Land and Sea Management ranger group:
Numbulwar rangers manage 330,000 hectares of land and sea country.  Rangers have undertaken extensive planning in land and sea management in conjunction with traditional owners. Rangers undertake beach and debris patrols, and have commenced a cultural plant identification project.                              Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, environment management, cost recovery, compliance.

Yugul Mangi Land and Sea Management ranger group:
Yugul Mangi rangers throughout the 670,000 hectares of land and sea country in the Roper-Gulf region. The group undertakes vital monitoring and reporting on populations of sawfish and dugong and on water quality and seagrasses along the coastline. The group also conducts river, beach, and sea patrols and is also busy on land conducting extensive Dry Season burning work and weeding works. Problem weeds include Mimosa, Parkinsonia and Rubber Bush. ABA funding has facilitated the work of Yugul Mangi rangers in a number of areas.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Garawa and Waanyi / Garawa ranger group:
Together, the Garawa and Waanyi/Garawa ranger groups manage over 16 000km2 of Waanyi and Garawa country. The rangers continue to implement extensive fire management and weeds management programs. Aerial and ground burning work has been carried out to optimise biodiversity and defend against wildfire.
The rangers have participated in scientific carbon-measuring and analysis with a view to capacity-building and positioning ranger groups and other traditional owners in the carbon marketplace.
The ranger group have also commenced cultural documentation work in relation to traditional knowledge in their work area.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, environmental monitoring, compliance.

Wagiman ranger group:
Wagiman rangers undertake weeding and burning work over the Wagiman Aboriginal Land Trust, which covers 130,000 hectares. Rangers have focussed on treating extensive infestations of Gamba Grass, Mission Grass, Bellyache bush, and Mimosa. They have also undertaken a major fencing project of sacred sites to protect them against damage from feral pigs.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire managment, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, compliance.

Wanga Djakamirr ranger group:
Key achievements for the Wanga Djakamirr rangers include the work in relation to the prevention of salt intrusion into the fragile and biodiverse Arafura Swamp complex. This work has included extensive monitoring and reporting in conjunction with Charles Darwin University and Territory Natural Resources Management.
Rangers also undertake feral animal control (mainly buffaloes and pigs), matrix burning, riparian weeding, and beach and sea patrols.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, environmental monitoring, compliance.

South East Arafura / Gurrwiling ranger groups:
The Arafura Swamp ranger groups undertake extensive weeding, burning, and feral animal monitoring and management work within the Arafura Swamp across 250,000 hectares of rangeland, riverland and swampland, including the protection of sacred sites. 
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, cultural support, environmental management, sacred site protection, cost recovery, compliance.

Gumurr Marthakal Land and Sea Management ranger group:
Marthakal rangers are actively involved in extensive coastal and sea operations, as well as land-based species management and weeds management across 800 000 hectares of land and sea country. Rangers have undertake regular beach debris patrols, removing large ghost nets from a largely pristine coastline.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Acacia Larrakia ranger group:
The Acacia Larrakia ranger group manages 130,000 hectares of country on the Delissavale/Wagait/Larrakia Aboriginal Land Trust. The rangers are involved in fencing projects to protect sacred sites, as well as feral animal control and implementing an annual prescribed burning program. The main weeds of concern on the Land Trust are Mimosa pigra, Mission and Gamba Grass, with infestations targeted by spraying and regularly monitored.
The ranger group actively persues enterprise development and cost recovery works.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Asyrikarrak Kirim ranger group:
Asyrikarrak Kirim ranger group operates in the Daly River/Port Keats Aboriginal Land Trust and has effectively reduced Mimosa pigra infestations to manageable proportions. The Asyrikarrak Kirim rangers, in co-operation with the Thamarrur Rangers and Wudicupildiyerr Rangers, manage regional weeds infestations.
The rangers also undertake extensive fire management on a collaborative basis between the regional ranger groups and with the assistance of Bushfires NT.
The ranger group actively peruses enterprise development and cost recovery contracts.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Wudikupildiyerr ranger group
The core activity of the group is the monitoring and treatment of Weeds of National Significance within the Wudikupildiyerr ranger’s operational area of the Daly River/Port Keats Aboriginal Land Trust.
The ranger group actively persues enterprise development and cost recovery contracts.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Timber Creek ranger group
Judburra (formerly Gregory) National Park in the western Top End the Timber Creek Rangers have entered into numerous cost recovery contracts with NT Parks & Wildlife and other neighbouring stakeholders, including pastoralists. Key tasks include invasive weed surveillance and control and the maintaining park infrastructure such as signage, and camping areas and fences.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Adjumarllarl ranger group:
This group is evolving strongly with core weed, fire and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service work. Several cost recovery contracts are now established.  The ranger group is contracted on a cost recovery basis by Gunbalanya Station (pastoral) to carry out Mimosa pigra management of the core infestation on the Oenpelli floodplain.
The rangers are in the process of creating a business plan for cost recovery activities. Short-term plans will revolve around the harvest of native honey bee products and Kakadu Plum. The group is also preparing to take on vehicle recovery activities utilising a tilt-tray trucke. Longer term activities are anticipated for the breeding of crocodiles in suitably constructed and located pens.
Adjumarllarl  rangers are one of the five ranger groups that are delivering the internationally recognised West Arnhem Land Fire Abatement project (WALFA), a project that is receiving payment for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere by implementing a traditional fire management regime.
Core activities: Invasive species control, fire management, beach and ghost net clearance, cultural support, sacred site protection, environmental monitoring, cost recovery, compliance.

Bagala ranger group:
In July 2011, the NLC approved the commission of the Bagala Ranger Group as stipulated in the NLC Policy relating to the commissioning and decommissioning of ranger groups.  The ranger group will perform core land management activities which includes fire management, weeds management (Hyptis, Rubbervine, Mimosa), feral animal control (pigs, cats, buffalo) and the protection of sacred sites.The ranger group will actively peruse enterprise development and cost recovery contracts.