Preserving Quandamooka Country through collaboration

We are pleased to announce that the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and Healthy Land and Water have renewed their strong commitment to work together during a special ceremony, marked at the re-signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the groups.

QYAC and Healthy Land and Water work collaboratively on many environmental projects, and the partnership was strengthened in 2015 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was the first of its kind between an Indigenous organisation and a natural resource management group in Queensland.

Healthy Land and Water shares a close bond with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), which was formed in 2011 under the Native Title Act to represent the interests of the Quandamooka people.

Healthy Land and Water is proud of its collaboration with QYAC and has been privileged to assist and work with the Quandamooka People on a variety of important projects and programs across Quandamooka Country.

Quandamooka Country is a place that holds important and unique biodiversity value and incredible cultural significance. Much of Quandamooka Country, including Minjerribah (now known as North Stradbroke Island) and Mulgumpin (Moreton Island), is regarded as a sanctuary that has been cared for by its owners and custodians, the Quandamooka People, for many thousands of generations.

Minjerribah boasts some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, a rich cultural history, and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna found amongst a diversity of habitats including mangroves, dunes, wetlands, endangered heathlands, freshwater lakes, rainforests, old growth forests, and woodlands.

Many of the species on Minjerribah are genetically unique and not found anywhere else in the world. The Island’s wetlands, foreshore swamps, and interconnecting ecosystems are listed as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site, acknowledging the internationally significant biodiversity of the area and the role it plays in providing habitat for vulnerable, endangered, and near threatened species. Biodiversity conservation on Minjerribah increasingly recognises the intertwining of cultural values and the importance of management being led by Traditional Owners.

Healthy Land and Water appreciates that much of the biodiversity we enjoy in South East Queensland would not exist without the longstanding custodianship of Traditional Owners, which is why through our projects we place a high importance on understanding the relationships between cultural and biodiversity values.

Listed below are a few projects which highlight some of the outcomes being delivered for Quandamooka Country as part of the collaborative efforts of Healthy Land and Water and QYAC.

For more information about any of the listed projects, please contact Healthy Land and Water at info@hlw.org.au or the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation at admin@qyac.net.au

 

 

Minjerribah Protected Area Expansion Strategy

Protected areas play a vital role in protecting and maintaining Minjerribah’s unique cultural values and natural habitats, ecosystems, and wildlife. Since 2011, when the Quandamooka People were recognised as native title holders for the majority of Minjerribah, QYAC has been working with the Queensland Government through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to protect the Island’s biodiversity and rich cultural heritage for future generations. The Minjerribah Protected Area Expansion Strategy is part of Minjerribah Futures – an initiative aimed at supporting the economic transition away from sandmining on the Island. This work involves developing a strategy for expanding the Island’s national parks and other protected areas. Previously, only 2% of Minjerribah was protected but now around half of Minjerribah is recognised as being managed for conservation, including Naree Budjong Djara National Park, which is jointly managed by the Quandamooka People and the Queensland Government. The goal of the project is to have approximately 80% of the island recognised as protected area in the near future. Almost 90% of this additional protected area is home to critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened species.

 

Expanding Minjerribah’s protected area estate will result in a number of benefits, including:

  • Better protection of the environment and threatened wildlife by utilising the intergenerational knowledge of Traditional Owners.
  • Increased protection of significant physical and spiritual cultural heritage values on Minjerribah.
  • Improved protection and catchment management leading to reduced risks to water quality for lakes, streams, and wetlands.
  • Wider coverage for fire and pest management activities.
  • Improved habitat connectivity.
  • Increasing the role and recognition of Quandamooka People in managing Country.

 

 

Feral animal management on Minjerribah and Mulgumpin

Since European settlement, invasive animal and plant species have taken a significant toll on the Australian environment. Rabbits, toads, camels, goats, brumbies, pigs, and other feral species have caused extensive damage to the landscape and severely impacted native species. On Minjerribah, invasive animal populations, specifically European red foxes and feral cats, have had a devastating effect on many native species, including turtles, water mice, shorebirds, and frogs. Since 2014, Healthy Land and Water has partnered with QYAC and other land management agencies to implement an Island-wide Feral Pest Management Program to eradicate feral foxes and cats in effort to protect and preserve the Island’s biodiversity. This was the first program of its kind to be implemented across the whole of the Island. At the commencement of the program, there was an estimated population of over 1000 foxes on Minjerribah, with camera monitoring studies revealing as much as 50% of all observed animal movements on parts of the island was from foxes. Subsequent monitoring following control activities showed a significant decrease in fox populations, with the same camera observations showing only 10% of movements being fox related. The program, which has now been running for six years, has resulted in positive outcomes for a number of native animal populations, including nesting sea turtles, ground dwelling birds, reptiles, and mammals. There has also been a focus on community education around  responsible pet ownership with residents and visitors to the island, to help reduce the impact of wildlife. QYAC is trialling new technologies and methods to achieve successful eradication outcomes over the coming years.

This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Adaptation Strategy

The Redland City Council Coastal Adaptation Strategy promotes the sustainable management of Redlands coastal and foreshore areas by addressing the current and future coastal hazards. The coastal zone near Brisbane extends from Tingalpa Creek at Thorneside south to the mouth of the Logan River and encompasses many of the hundreds of Moreton Bay Islands including Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). These areas have significant ecological value and include Ramsar-listed sites and parts of the Moreton Bay Marine Park. Moreton Bay provides habitat for a diverse range of unique plants and animals including rare, vulnerable, and endangered species such as migratory shorebirds, frogs, dugongs, and turtles.

For the first time in Queensland, an Aboriginal corporation is leading climate change and adaptation planning. Healthy Land and Water was privileged to be part of a consortium led by QYAC to assess the risks climate change poses to cultural and environmental assets and how local government and community can safeguard these values for future climate change scenarios.

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