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Connecting Aboriginal Land Use Management Strategies, Mammal Extinction Rates and Shifts in Fire Regimes in a Changing Climate: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Inform Conservation Strategies for Threatened Species in the Australian Western Desert

Funding Year: 
Research Areas: 
Natural Capital

Recent efforts in Australias Karlamilhi National Park to sustain endangered species populations and reintroduce locally extinct species have been largely unsuccessful. Studies have linked the loss of mammal biodiversity to the loss of complex desert landscapes that were maintained with controlled fires by hunters from Aboriginal communities. This study will develop a model that helps Australian environment conservation specialists understand the tangible benefits that Martu tribe members derive from the landscapes they have created and maintain. The goal is to simultaneously promote species conservation while supporting Martu traditional livelihoods. The models developed for balancing biodiversity conservation with cultural sustainability will have broad applications throughout much of arid Australia.

Principal Investigators:

Rebecca Bird

Risa Wechsler

Doug Bird

Luis Fernandez