The Bunuba Rangers have just finished participating in the annual freshwater crocodile survey of Windjanna Gorge.
Led by WA Department of Parks & Wildlife (DPaW) ecologists, a spotlight survey recorded 170 crocs in the main pool, consistent with previous annual surveys.
The team then proceeded to capture 76 crocodiles in a netting program to record their weight and sex, tag them and to take genetic samples. A number of the crocs where re-captures from previous years, which provides valuable insights into the population dynamics.
The highly technical capture technique involved rangers and volunteers herding the crocs through a combination of noisy wading and swimming through the pool while encircling them with a net. They were then secured and the process started again.
The water depth, many hidey holes and the elusive nature of the crocs meant that it took multiple netting days to capture the 76 required for a representative sample.
This Bunuba and DPaW croc project is one example of Bunuba working on their lands in a valued partnership with the managing WA National Park agency (DPaW). It's Bunuba hope that by inviting Bush Heritage to partner through the Healthy Country Planning project, stronger relationships, long-term conservation, economic, social and cultural outcomes will be achieved with all the stakeholders operating on Bunuba country.
The first Health Country Bunuba Ranger community meeting is now set for the 3rd week of November. Exciting times indeed as the Bunuba community and its stakeholders come together to begin planning for their vision for a Healthy Country future.