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Great Victoria Desert

Region: Desert


The Spinifex People (Pila Nguru) have maintained continuous connection to this Country for as long time. This area focuses on managing places of significant biodiversity value which are inextricably linked with places of high cultural significance specifically permanent and ephemeral water bodies, rock holes, freshwater lakes, saltlake systems and wetlands of national significance. The Spinifex People have exclusive Native Title of Spinifex Lands and Pilki Native Title Lands determinations. They collaborate with the state on joint-management of nature reserves on their Country. And they work with partners (state, federal, philanthropic and mining companies) to help return Spinifex Country land management into balance with people and nature. They maintain important cultural sites at numerous locations.

Current relationships with the Spinifex People involve supporting their peak cultural and land management organisation–Spinifex Land Management–and the GVD Adaptive Management Partnership to undertake ranger-based caring for Country activities. This involves actively managing country by reinstating traditional fire burning regimes, managing Weeds of National Significance (including a focus on the Buffel Free GVD initiative) and feral animals (cats, foxes, camels) to protect several threatened species and their respective habitats.

The GVD partnership between Spinifex, Yilka, Desert Support Services (CDNTS), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Greening Australia, Conservation Management, the GVD Biodiversity Trust and Rangelands NRM (serving as both contract/project manager and backbone support) arose from a desire to build a greater alliance to link isolated Traditional Owner groups in order to strengthen their capacities to look after large tracks of high value desert country.

Focus in this Priority Area aims to build on the capacity of existing ranger groups, assist in the management of Traditional Spinifex and Pilki Lands and promote the inter-generational transfer of traditional ecological knowledge and integrating western science with traditional practices.

Key EBBC or priority fauna in area:

  • Endangered Sandhill Dunnart (Sminthopsis psammophila)
  • Vulnerable Crest-tailed Mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda)
  • Vulnerable Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos)
  • Vulnerable Princess Parrot (Polytelis alexandrae)
  • Vulnerable Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata)
  • Vulnerable Great Desert Skink (Liopholis kintorei)
  • Vulnerable Greater Stick nest Rat (Leporillus conditor)

Other assets in the area:

  1. Lightfoot and Ernest Favenc Range
  2. Neale Junction Nature Reserve
  3. New potentially endemic plant species Grevillea ilkurlka has been recorded in this area
  4. Wanna Lakes
  5. Serpentine Lakes
  6. Great Victoria Desert Nature Reserve

People/Groups engaged in the area:

  1. Spinifex Land Management
  2. Pila Nguru Aboriginal Corporation
  3. Yilka Aboriginal Corporation
  4. Desert Support Services (CDNTS)
  5. Greening Australia
  6. Parks & Wildlife Service
  7. Conservation Management
  8. Great Victoria Desert Adaptive Management Partnership
  9. Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust
  10. Indigenous Desert Alliance
  11. Ten Deserts network
  12. Gold Road Resources (through arrangements with Yilka)