Five reasons we’re thanking Indigenous rangers this World Ranger Day

Published: 31 Jul 2019

A huge thank you to Indigenous rangers on World Ranger Day!

Indigenous rangers are protecting nature across Australia - from the islands of the Torres Strait to the island of Tasmania, the aqua seas of the Kimberley to the rich eucalypt forests of the Great Western Woodlands, the red centre to the reefs.

Every single day, Indigenous rangers are tackling environmental threats like feral animals, invasive weeds and destructive wildfires across an area more than 10 times the size of Tasmania. We thought we’d celebrate with a shout out to five big achievements of Indigenous rangers over the last year. 

  1. Budj Bim World Heritage Listing
    The world welcomed the World Heritage listing of the Budj Bim landscapes in Western Victoria earlier this month. This achievement was led by Gunditjmara traditional owners and is a powerful recognition of the sophistication and quality of Indigenous land management for millennia. The World Heritage listing builds on work of Budj Bim Indigenous Rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas in protecting country. 

  2. Strong Women on Country
    This one’s a bit of a cheat because it encompasses a whole lot of achievements – the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women working as Indigenous rangers and on Indigenous Protected Areas that were outlined in Country Needs People’s Strong Women on Country report. The report was launched by women rangers around the country from May to August last year. 

  3. New Indigenous Protected Areas planning underway
    Work continues on five new proposed Indigenous Protected Areas, which will add an area more than twice the size of Tasmania to the National Reserve System when declared. Ngururrpa, Ngadju, Spinifex Pilki, Olkola, Crocodile Islands traditional owners are working in partnership with the government to dedicate their IPAs. 

  4. Species of the Desert protected by Indigenous rangers
    The Australian Outback is one of the largest intact ecosystems on the planet and it teems with native wildlife. But our landscapes need active management to be healthy – boots on the ground tackling threats like feral cats, camels and more, invasive weeds and destructive wildfires. The Species of the Desert Festival in June brought together Indigenous rangers from across the desert to share lessons and coordinate strategies for protecting wildlife on country. The hilarious First Dog on the Moon reported.
  5. Canadian First Nations learn from Australian Indigenous ranger model
    Australian’s Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas were once again recognised as a world-leading model of Indigenous-led conservation when a delegation of Aboriginal land management leaders were hosted by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative in Canada. The group met with Canadian First Nations leaders and land managers, and politicians and public servants to talk about the success of Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas in Australia.

This is just the start. Indigenous rangers are bringing threatened species back from the brink of extinction, working with young people to strengthen culture and community, strategising and implementing plans to care for vast landscapes, clearing marine debris from remote beaches and so much more.

More than 96 000 Australians have backed the work of Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas by sending a message of support to their local politicians through Country Needs People. That’s a powerful testament to how successful ranger work has been and how grateful we all are to Indigenous rangers.

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