2012 Pungalina Seven-Emu Scientific Study

The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, in collaboration with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, has now completed a multi-disciplinary scientific study of Pungalina-Seven Emu Wildlife Sanctuary. The study period was from 25 June to 23 July 2012.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partner, AWC; John Kanowski, AWC Ecologist and Liaison; Sharyn Yelverton and Herman Mouthaan, Pungalina Station Managers; our wonderful, hardworking team of RGSQ volunteers, and our top group of Researchers.  Due to your assistance, organisation and generous spirit this Scientific Survey was a great success. - Hayley Freemantle, PO.

Click HERE for a list of researchers and their projects.

What to Report

All the years of planning and organising culminated in to a very successful 2012 Pungalina Scientific Study. For a more detailed section (with images) of the Study click HERE, or try Graham Rees's magnificent photo collection on:

http://wombatshollow.com

Aim

To investigate, through a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic-based studies, the natural resources of the Pungalina-Seven Emu Wildlife Sanctuary in the remote northern area of the Gulf Coastal Bioregion; to share the results across scientific disciplines during and after the study; and to contribute information useful to conservation management of the Sanctuary.

This research opportunity would be of interest to a wide range of life and earth scientists, as well as geographers. The AWC Trapping and Handling Document can be viewed HERE.

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Location

Pungalina-Seven Emu is located in the Northern Territory, adjacent 16o44’S 137o25’E, in the Gulf Coastal Bioregion. The Sanctuary covers more than 3000 km2 in the catchments of the Calvert and Robinson Rivers. The underlying geology comprises Proterozoic sandstones and dolomite (with extensive caves) and Tertiary sediments. Major ecosystems include savannah woodlands, rocky escarpments and freshwater springs in the upper reaches of the catchments, riverine habitats, and cypress pine woodlands, grasslands, saline flats and monsoon forests on the coastal plains. The Calvert River and its main tributaries are listed as ‘Regionally Important Wetlands’ (National Land and Water Resources Audit, 2002).Seven Emu has extensive swamp and dune areas, flanked on either side by the Robinson and Calvert rivers.

The mean annual rainfall is 975 mm, with a wet season from December to March. Mean maximum temperatures range from 29-38°C; mean minimum temperatures range from 12-24°C (BoM, Wollogorang Station).

Pungalina-Seven Emu is located within the traditional homelands of the Garawa who have native title claims over the Sanctuary. Pungalina and Seven Emu are pastoral leases: AWC has acquired Pungalina outright, and has entered into a partnership with Frank Shadforth, a Garawa man, to establish a conservation reserve over half of the Seven Emu property. Australian Wildlife Conservancy conducts fire management on Pungalina-Seven Emu in collaboration with the Garawa Rangers and Frank Shadforth, and both have participated in Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s ecological survey work.

Behind the scenes

In order for RGSQ to undertake such a project, we need a well organised committee and this year our Committee Conveyor is Mr Tony Hillier. We have a wonderful group of volunteers who assisted the scientists at Punaglina over the four week period. They did an absolutely brilliant job. We have had such positive feedback. If you have any queries please contact the Society on info@rgsq.org.au.

rrcamp

From Robinson River Camp

Karns

Karns Creek

To read about riding around in the top end, there is an interesting article in the January 2012 Overlander, pages 72 - 80. It features the Calvert and Borroloola.

A working party went up to Pungalina in July of 2011, to build facilities and organise the camping area in preparation for the Study. A picture essay of this trip can be viewed by clicking HERE.

What to Report

All the years of planning and organising culminated in to a very successful 2012 Pungalina Scientific Study. For a more detailed section (with images) of the Study click HERE, or try Graham Rees's magnificent photo collection on:

http://wombatshollow.com

Page by Hayley Freemantle