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Tiwi Land Rangers

Over thousands of years, Tiwi people have developed and harnessed knowledge that strengthens environmental sustainability and fosters cultural wellbeing. The Tiwi Land Ranger Program, which was established in 2006, draws on this knowledge and connection to country, and helps to address gaps in land management capacity across the Islands. 

The Tiwi Land Rangers carry out a range of land management and liaison activities including environmental contract work, biological surveys, providing support for ecological research, heritage and sacred site assessments, rehabilitation of developed areas, fire management for carbon abatement, weed management and pest monitoring. quarantine surveillance and biosecurity. They either hold, or are training for, a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management.

In addition, a range of partnership projects have been undertaken with other land management organisations and commercial operators on the Tiwi Islands, aimed at increasing knowledge of listed threatened species. This information is then incorporated into land use planning on the islands.  The Tiwi Land Rangers have developed outstanding expertise in discovering and monitoring targeted species, and play a significant role in ongoing management of threatened species.

The Tiwi Land Rangers play a key role in community engagement. As well as regularly interacting with the broader community, the rangers act as role models for young Tiwi people by visiting schools, giving presentations, and by taking students on country for work experience.  

Since 2009, the Tiwi Land Rangers have been working on the Tiwi Carbon Study, which is identifying the environmental and economic potential of fire management for greenhouse gas abatement on the Islands. A booklet Tiwi Burning: Fire and Carbon on the Tiwi Islands and video about the project were produced.

Since 2013, rangers have partnered with researchers from the University of Melbourne and Charles Darwin University on projects aimed at understanding the relationships between cats, fire and small mammals.  Fire management plots set up as part of the ongoing Tiwi Carbon Study are integral to this work. More information can be found here.

In recognising the importance of reducing the impact of cats on native wildlife, a project promoting responsible cat ownership was undertaken in 2017 by the Tiwi Land Rangers in Wurrumiyanga. The project was a collaboration between the Tiwi Land Council, Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities, the University of New England and The Ark Animal Hospital, with support from the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Commissioner.

In 2015, the Tiwi Land Rangers won a United Nations World Environment Day Award, Biodiversity Category, and were finalists in the 2016 Banksia Sustainability Award, Indigenous Leadership Category - Burning for greenhouse gas abatement, and the 2015 Banksia Sustainability Award, Indigenous Leadership Category - Feral ant control.

In 2016, the Tiwi Islands Savanna Burning for Greenhouse Gas Abatement Project was registered with the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund and in 2018, the Tiwi Land Rangers were the first group to receive operational funds from the Savanna Fire Management (SFM) Program. The SFM Program is managed by the Indigenous Land Corporation on behalf of the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project’s voluntary commitments with the Northern Territory Government to offset carbon emissions from the projects onshore facility.

The Tiwi Land Rangers offer a fee-for-service for land or coastal related work including:

  • Weed management.
  • Asset protection burning.
  • Threatened species assessments.
  • Field assistance for visiting researchers including vehicle, vessel, and equipment hire.

They also work with the Tiwi Marine Rangers on a range of natural resource management activities. For further information about services and quotes please contact the Tiwi Land Council

Visit the Ranger Photo Gallery to see the Tiwi Land Rangers at work.