Learning together: developing collaborative monitoring of intertidal invertebrates in the Karajarri IPA, north-western Australia

Matilda Murley, Ann Grand, Jane Prince, Karajarri Rangers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Karajarri Indigenous Protected Area, in the south-west Kimberley, is home to vast intertidal rock platforms that form a culturally and ecologically important environment for Karajarri Traditional Owners and wider Bidyadanga community. Karajarri Rangers initiated a collaborative partnership with researchers to devise an intertidal invertebrate monitoring protocol to meet the requirements of their Healthy Country Plan and sustainably manage their cultural harvesting. The project aimed to design and trial a monitoring protocol that blended Indigenous ecological knowledge and values with western scientific rigour. To investigate and document the community’s ecological knowledge of marine resources, a series of Ranger interviews, focus groups and collaborative fieldwork was conducted. Data collected from these qualitative methods provided valuable insights into knowledge of the intertidal environment and fauna and the community’s management aspirations and priorities. Informed by these data, a monitoring protocol was cross-culturally designed to combine Indigenous knowledge and values within a western scientific framework. Two methodologies were piloted, focusing on a small subset of culturally significant target species. Although both were successful, the trial indicated that Rangers preferred abundance-focused methods for ecological monitoring. Further refinement of the monitoring protocol is required to build western science knowledge of the ecosystem and meet Ranger management goals. However, this study provided the basis of future monitoring strategies for Karajarri Rangers, formed a lasting collaborative partnership and is a useful exploration of Indigenous preferred approaches to western scientific monitoring of intertidal rock platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Management and Restoration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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