Collaborative research partnerships inform monitoring and management of aquatic ecosystems by Indigenous rangers

Rebecca J. Dobbs, Christy L. Davies, Michelle L. Walker, Neil E. Pettit, Bradley J. Pusey, Paul G. Close, Yoshi Akune, Ninjana Walsham, Brendan Smith, Albert Wiggan, Preston Cox, Douglas P. Ward, Fiona Tingle, Rod Kennett, Micha V. Jackson, Peter M. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Aquatic ecosystems are critical to the long-term viability and vibrancy of communities and economies across northern Australia. In a region that supports significant cultural and ecological water values, partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders can benefit aquatic ecosystem management. We present, as a case study from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, a collaborative research program that successfully documented Indigenous and Western Scientific knowledge of remote wetlands, using a variety of field-based activities, questionnaires, interviews and workshops. The sharing of knowledge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous research partners facilitated a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem values, threats, processes, management priorities and aspirations. These formed the basis of a management plan and monitoring tools, designed to build the capacity of an Indigenous ranger group to engage in research, monitoring and management of wetlands. The project provides a useful example of the benefits of collaborations in the context of remote-area management where local communities are responsible for environmental management and monitoring, such as is the case in northern Australia and presumably other areas of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-725
Number of pages15
JournalReviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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