19 Jan 2024

LOOKING BACK WITH LOTTERYWEST: CELEBRATING 4 YEARS OF IMPACT IN THE KIMBERLEY

Words by Pius Gregory, Kimberley Biocultural Conservation Specialist at WWF-Australia

Hi, I’m Pius Gregory, Kimberley Biocultural Conservation Specialist at WWF-Australia’s Broome office. Thanks to a Lotterywest grant of $2.2m in 2019, WWF-Australia has been continuing to support Indigenous rangers’ conservation leadership in the Kimberley. The grant has allowed us all to continue vital work to protect threatened and culturally significant species including the nabarlek, golden bandicoot, Gouldian finch, wiliji, spectacled hare-wallaby and northern quoll.

These species face threats including uncontolled fire, invasive species, and other challenges in undertaking conservation in the Kimberley. This ongoing support has also helped ranger groups and networks such as the Women’s Rangers Environmental Network (WREN) grow in this stunning and sacred part of Australia.

In celebration of 4 years of impact in the Kimberley, WWF-Australia would like to take this opportunity to thank Lotterywest for supporting our Innovation and Equity Program. I’ve seen the impact of their support both working as Yawuru Senior Country Manager (Ranger) and now as part of the WWF-Australia team. 

WWF and the Ranger groups could not have done this work without the grant – baseline surveys on Nyaliga Country, spectacled hare-wallaby on Yawuru Country and the black-footed rock-wallaby on Nyikina Mangala Country just to name a few. For this WWF and the Ranger groups are really grateful. You can read just a few of the many success stories we’ve had on Country over the years below.

1. From the desert to the tropics: Rangers sharing knowledge on black-footed rock-wallaby conservation

Nyikina Mangala Ranger Raymond Charles casting net into the Martuwarra (Fitzroy River), Camballin, West Kimberley region, WA.
Nyikina Mangala Ranger Raymond Charles casting net into the Martuwarra (Fitzroy River) © Nick Weigner / WWF Australia

In November 2023, the Warru Rangers from APY Lands in South Australia recently visited the Nyikina Mangala Rangers in the Kimberley region of Western Australia to exchange knowledge and experience on black-footed rock-wallaby conservation and management. Leigh-Ann Woolley from WWF-Australia’s Kimberley team tells us more.

2. The secrets scat keeps: Scat Chat episode five

Did you know that the support of Lotterywest was key to finding an animal that hadn't been seen in decades?

For years the spectacled hare-wallaby was thought to be locally extinct in Western Australia until the Yawuru Country Managers and other local ranger groups discovered fresh signs of wallaby poo.

Make some discoveries of your own in this eye-opening episode of Scat Chat featuring Pius Gregory, Cultural Environmental Project Officer, WWF-Australia and Dr. Leigh-Ann Woolley, Species Conservation Manager, WWF-Australia.

3. Indigenous rangers and researchers use drones to survey and protect endangered rock-wallaby

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Since 2019, Lotterywest has been supporting the Nyikina Mangala Rangers to give the wiliji every chance of survival. Surveys are providing information on wiliji populations, and sensor cameras are capturing never-before-seen images of the rare animal.

In this incredible gallery, teamwork and North West Australia’s incredible natural beauty is on full display as Indigenous rangers and researchers race to protect this rare and iconic creature.

4. Traditional methods meet camera technology to recover Wilinggin Country in the Kimberley

The Nyaliga Rangers are using Two-way Science (traditional methods and Western science together) to look after Wilinggin Country. Now, with WWF-Australia’s support, Nyaliga Rangers are using camera technology to get a clearer picture of wildlife on their Country.

5. 10 Facts about cane toads

With the longtime support of Lotterywest, the Nyaliga Rangers are committed to protecting the Kimberley, a sacred expanse of Country facing challenges including the invasion of the cane toad. Knowledge is power, and you can find out more about the cane toad here.