Indigenous Protected Areas are now a major component of Australia's National Reserve System and their ecological management by Rangers and TOs has benefits for the country as a whole, as well as many remote communities. Across northern Australia over 40% of lands are under some form of indigenous control and much of this area is within IPAs. While local knowledge of country is often strong, there is much to do full document biodiversity values and from this to help prioritize areas for management. Over the past 5 years our team, often working with Ranger groups, has been combining field surveys with advanced genetic analyses to resolve and understand patterns of diversity and relationships for low mobility animals across the Kimberley, Top End and Gulf regions. This has revealed new hotspots of diversity, some within IPAs and also refugial areas that will be important to manage for future climate change. Partnerships between scientists and Ranger groups is key to understanding complex systems in the north and can generate new insights into biodiversity values that should help underpin the case for continued support of IPAs and Ranger programs.
Listen to the seminar recording.
Craig Moritz is a Professor at ANU, a visiting scientist at CSIRO and directs the ANU-CSIRO Centre for Biodiversity Analysis. He has worked for many years at the interface of Conservation and Evolutionary Biology, across desert, rainforest and savanna systems, especially on reptiles and frogs. He is enthusiastic about the IPA and Ranger programs and the broad benefits these generate for remote communities and for Australia as a whole.