Department of Defence Secretary, Dennis Richardson, and the CEO of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Atticus Fleming have announced a groundbreaking partnership forged between Defence and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to effectively manage and conserve the land within the Yampi Sound Training Area in West Kimberley.
On 12 August 2016 Defence signed a contract with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) to trial their land management and conservation services throughout the 560,000 hectare Yampi Sound Training Area (Yampi) for an initial term of six years and a renewal term of two years.
Yampi has been Defence-owned since the 1970’s and is home to more than 1,000 plant species, a large number of animals including over 50 mammal species, more than 270 bird species and around 100 reptile species, many of which are endangered.
The AWC trial will involve site specific conservation initiatives including cool burn fires, weed and feral animal management, biological surveys and monitoring of threatened species and vegetation communities.
Partnering with a non-government organisation in this way marks a first for Defence.
“Defence welcomes innovative approaches to service delivery and this partnership with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy will improve the knowledge of ecosystems at Yampi and advance conservation outcomes for this important land area” Mr Richardson said.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is a not-for-profit, conservation based land manager and CEO Atticus Fleming is delighted to have the opportunity to assist Defence in improving threatened species conservation at Yampi.
“The AWC has an extensive team of ecologists and technical experts in the Kimberley and is well placed to deliver the suite of adaptive land management and monitoring services at Yampi,” Mr Fleming said.
Central to the success of the partnership will be the involvement of Yampi’s traditional owners – the Dambimangari people. The initiative will deliver a significant increase in Dambimangari involvement at Yampi through employment within AWC’s on-ground team, training and ongoing engagement in the design and delivery of fire management and other land management strategies.
“Especially important to this initiative is greater participation by the Dambimangari traditional owners in land management at Yampi that AWC will facilitate,” Mr Fleming said.
There is a sense of urgency around addressing the rate of extinction in Northern Australia and the AWC-Defence partnership at Yampi will contribute key knowledge to understanding threatened species populations and the threatening processes occurring there.
Defence Media (02) 6127 1999