10031: An assessment of the natural and cultural values of the Carnarvon Range

    Carnarvon Range.  Courtesy Central Desert Native Services
    Carnarvon Range. Courtesy Central Desert Native Services

    The Carnarvon Range is a biologically rich sandstone landform in the Rudall subregion of the Little Sandy Desert. The range provides not only a valuable insight into natural history, but also a unique window into the Western Desert and early European cultural history of the area.

    With the help of State NRM Program funding, the aim of this project is to assess the natural and cultural assets of the Carnarvon Range. The assessment will be conducted by internationally recognised experts in the fields of ecology, anthropology and archaeology, in conjunction with Birriliburu native title holders.

    The assessment will be a landmark survey in the combined fields and one of the most comprehensive ever conducted in the Western Desert.

    It will pull together scientific knowledge through western methodology to supplement traditional ecological knowledge to inform a natural and cultural heritage management plan for the Carnarvon Range.

    Investment: $ 50 000
    Other contribution: $ 47 000
    Delivery organisation: Central Desert Native Services on behalf of the Mungarlu Ngurrankatja Rirraunkaja Aboriginal Corporation
    Project duration: July 2011 - December 2012
    Location: Carnarvon Range

    Major project achievements

    • Higher education involvement, UWA School of Rock Art, provided much needed free archaeology services, including a comprehensive report. Future interest will be continual due to UWA's implementation of units surrounding the project.

    • Hundreds of plant specimens were recorded.

    • Ethnographic survey and reports were produced.

    Lessons learnt

    • High quality of commitment, surveys and reports (all volunteer) stems from the education levels and interest within the fields.


    Project partners

    University of Western Australia; Archaeos Australia; Archaeology Society of Western Australia; Department of Environment and Conservation WA; Central Desert Native Title Services.

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