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Wildlife

We have special responsibilities to look after the animals living on our country - both for our people and everyone on Earth

Gurruwiling, its catchment and sea country supports over a thousand species of plants and hundreds of fish, bird, mammal, reptile and other animal species.

Its large and diverse wetland habitats support as many as 300,000 birds at any one time.

The seasons tell us when is the right time for all our bush food. We don’t need a paper calendar to follow our seasons — the country sends us signals.

We have six different seasons. Animals and plants tell us when the seasons are changing.

In our culture we must respect the animals and plants that feed us. Our law says “don’t take more than you need”. We don’t go hunting to kill things for fun and we don’t do catch-and-release fishing. Many fish die after catch-and-release.

This knowledge came to us from the old people and they gave us rules to follow. We must prepare, cook and share our food in the right way and make sure we pass this knowledge to our children. Every part of the meat has a different meaning for different people.

It’s all there for us, but we must protect our plants and animals through managing country properly. Old people told us how to burn for healthy country, how to leave a little piece of yam to grow back.

As rangers we are learning new things about our plants and animals from working with botanists and biologists. We are learning that some things in our country are only found here.

There are other plants and animals in our country that are being lost from the landscape in other places.

We have special responsibilities to look after endangered and vulnerable species where they are living on our country, both for our people and everyone on Earth.

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Healthy Country Plan

We know that the land needs its people to care for it and to keep it healthy. In the same way we know that caring for the country keeps us healthy - physically, spiritually and mentally.

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