Great Desert Skink Recovery

Rangers across the desert have joined forces to protect the iconic Tjakuṟa, Tjalapa, Mulyamiji, Warrarna, Nampu or Great Desert Skink.

The Great Desert Skink is a species of cultural significance for Indigenous people, both as an important tjukurrpa species and historically, a favoured food resource. It occurs almost exclusively on Aboriginal land. Threatened by the combined impacts of unmanaged wildfire and feral cat predation these iconic lizards have disappeared from many sites they were formerly known from, but continue to thrive in areas where Indigenous Rangers conduct traditional burning and/or cat management.

The IDA has been contracted by the Federal Government to create a new Ranger-led National Recovery Plan for the Great Desert Skink. This is an exciting new way of doing things. The Plan brings together Indigenous Knowledge and scientific research about Great Desert Skinks into a single document that aims to motivate and educate people about the most important actions needed to save this important animal from extinction.

The IDA is coordinating the implementation of priority actions in the Great Desert Skink Recovery Plan with support from the Commonwealth Government's Environment Restoration Fund. The project runs from May 2022 to April 2023 and supports Ranger Teams to record cultural knowledge, conduct surveys, establish monitoring programs and manage fire and cats around Great Desert Skink sites. A collaborative, simultaneous, tri-state monitoring event "Mulyamiji March" is planned for 2023.

For more information about the IDA's Great Desert Skink recovery project please contact the IDA's threatened species ecologist

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