The endangered monsoon vine thickets (MVT) of the Dampier Peninsula are an eco-culturally rich network of vegetation patches, which cover less than 0.01 per cent of the land area yet contain nearly 25% of the plant species.
Weeds such as coffee bush Leucaena leucocephala, Merremia dissecta, Merremia aegyptia, stinking passionfruit Passiflora foetida, Gallon’s curse Cenchrus biflorus, caltrop Tribulus cistoides and neem Azadirachta indica cause damage to and the loss of vine thickets.
Kooljaman is a wilderness camp on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. It is owned by the Bardi Jawi communities of Djarindjin and Ardyaloon and located on their native title lands. The site was used for a lighthouse from the early 20th century and its continued use since then, together with too frequent fires, land clearing and weed invasion, have resulted in damage to the MVTs of the area.
What we have done
The project initiated weekend weeding events at Kooljaman, bringing together and drawing on the cultural expertise of the Bardi Jawi Oorany (Women) Rangers, the ecological expertise of the Kimberley Nature Project and the skills and labour of community volunteers from the Society for Kimberley Indigenous Plants and Animals (SKIPA), with strong support from the Wilderness Camp.
The managers and staff from Kooljaman participated in tours about weeds and cultural plants run by the project. They provided some food and equipment, and disposed of weed waste appropriately. KNP assisted with project management, equipment, volunteer supervision and occupational health and safety instructions.
Weeds were found and removed from within and around the vine thicket, on the edge of campgrounds and tracks, and around accommodation shelters.
Into the future
We will continue to work with the Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers through our Kimberley Community Seedbank to collect and propagate seeds and restore MVT. With SKIPA and the rangers we hope to support annual weeding events at the Wilderness camp.