Endangered wallabies return home to the APY Lands
29 March 2011
Five captive-bred black-flanked rock wallabies were today released to their native home on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the remote north-west corner of South Australia.
The wallabies were released after being raised in captivity at the Monarto Zoo near Adelaide. The black-flanked rock wallabies are known as the Warru by the Anangu people, the traditional owners of the APY Lands.
The Warru is one of South Australia’s most endangered species. It is also culturally important for Anangu, as in the past it was an important food source. But today, deeply concerned about its decline, the Anangu are actively involved in the Warru’s recovery program.
“The return of the Warru today is a significant milestone for the species, the Anangu and everyone who is involved in the Warru Recovery program, to which the Australian Government has committed $2.7 million,” said Australian Government Department of Environment spokesperson, Matt Salmon.
Together, Anangu elders, scientists and the Working on Country Warru Ranger group have undertaken surveys to find remaining Warru colonies, predator control and fitted around 15 Warru with radio trackers to monitor their movements and feeding habits.
“The Warru rangers, employed by APY Land Management, are one of 66 Working on Country ranger groups across Australia.
“The Australian Government’s Working on Country program builds on Indigenous traditional knowledge to protect and manage land and sea country and over 600 Indigenous rangers are employed across Australia,” said Mr Salmon.
“Working on Country builds on the Commonwealth of Australian Governments’ (COAG) agenda to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage and through the employment and training of rangers, the program improves our environment and the lives of Indigenous Australians.”
The Warru Recovery program is a partnership between the Australian and South Australian governments, Anangu, APY Land Management, the Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Board, Conservation Ark/Zoos SA, Ecological Horizons Pty Ltd and the University of Adelaide.