Mangarrayi Rangers and Jawoyn Rangers have joined forces to manage country.
Established almost a decade ago, the Mangarrayi Rangers manage land, water and fire in the Roper River area, about 150 kilometres south-east of Katherine.
The team includes five full-time rangers from Jilkminggan community and nearby areas. They’re responsible for work in the Mangarrayi Aboriginal Land Trust and the Roper River corridor.
The area is home to one of the Northern Territory’s great rivers. Crystal clear waters from the Mataranka, Bitter and Elsey springs aquifer feed the headwaters, as the Roper makes its 250 km journey east to the sea.
Home to the famous barramundi, the river and hot springs at Elsey National Park are a mecca for tourists, fishers, twitchers and bushwalkers.
In addition to land, water and fire management, the team manage and protect sites of cultural significance, which include dreamings and historical associations with numerous water places.
The rangers partner with government agencies to conduct important fish and water monitoring, mammal surveys and tracking, as well as work to reduce weeds and eradicate feral animals such as buffalo, pigs and donkeys.
In recent years, they’ve stepped up their work with authorities to address the number of unwanted, illegal visitors who access land without permission.
Partnership with Jawoyn Rangers
In 2018, the Jawoyn Association expanded its ranger program to include the Mangarrayi rangers.
The move came after the rangers called for external support to access much-needed funding and secure their future.
The association will establish a ranger base in early 2019.
The rangers previously operated in association with the Roper River landcare group.
The rangers work with the NT Department of Primary Industry to monitor the salinity, turbidity and water temperature of the Roper River.
They also maintain fish loggers that track around 100 microchipped barramundi.