September saw the Nyiyaparli Rangers undertake the next lot of course units towards their Certificate II in Conservation & Ecosystem Management, focused on water monitoring and weed management.

The training involved some classroom work and a practical component on Country. For the water monitoring practical, the rangers headed to Ophthalmia Dam creek crossing, where Trainer Gerard ran through different methods of measuring common water quality parameters such as pH, total alkalinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature and salinity. Samples of water bugs were also collected and recorded as indicators of water quality, with some water bugs being tolerant and some sensitive to water quality changes. For this part of the training, the Rangers were joined by a team from Rio Tinto who had travelled to Newman to celebrate the Nyiyaparli/Rio Tinto Ranger Partnership announcement earlier in the day. It was great to have them along, and it was also great to have KNAC Board member Sharon Warburton join the Rangers for the afternoon of training. The Rangers hope to be able to put these new skills to use next year by starting a water quality monitoring program at key Yindas, establishing a data base and water quality story for key locations.

Later in the week, the Rangers headed out to the Fortescue River Bridge rest stop area to run through some practical weed management exercises. This area was chosen as it has a large amount of Buffel grass and Mesquite (which is a Weed of National Significance), so it was a great spot to practice weed ID and treatment skills. Weeds can be very invasive and take over areas very quickly, stopping native plants, including bush tucker and important medicinal plants from establishing. Keeping on top of weeds allows native plants to establish and grow.

It was a great week with lots of laughs along the way. Thank you to the awesome Nyiyaparli Rangers – Roderick Parker, Jason Anthony Jnr, Jayleen Anthony,  Carol-Lee Tucker, Carol-Anne Tucker, Lauren Lyndon and Beverley Tucker. Great effort team! Also, thanks to Ranger Trainer Gerard Lessels who travelled across from the east coast to help us for the week. Looking forward to the next round of training in the first half of next year.

Article by Melissa Pepper – Ranger Project Coordinator