Fauna Monitoring on Maria and North Islands is a three-year program by the Li-Anthawirriyarra and Yugal Mangi Sea Rangers supported by the McArthur River Mine Community Benefits Trust. Initiated in 2020, the purpose of this program is to determine if feral cats are present on the islands and to track mammal numbers since 2010 when the previous survey was completed.
In 2023, when the survey is scheduled to be completed, it is hoped that the project will be able to advise future Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) and parks management feedback to help preserve native wildlife populations on the islands. Several mammals on the islands are thought to be extinct, however this understanding is based on limited and outdated data. It is expected that a mixture of new and old monitoring techniques will help confirm if this is the case. All data shall be shared with the Department of Environment and the Natural Resources Fauna Atlas.
The project will employ six to eight full time employees of the Li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit along with members of NT Parks and Wildlife. The project also provides an opportunity to work with the Yugal Mangi Ranger group along with Traditional Owners, expanding local networks and further collaboration with affiliated stakeholders. Other side benefits include keeping language and stories alive through cultural recording, and involving young Yanyuwa and Marra people in the Ranger program to increase skills development in the next generation.
The McArthur River Mine Community Benefits Trust are pleased to support a project that provides a myriad of benefits to the community including - understanding our environment and biodiversity, skill-sharing, cultural knowledge and capacity building.