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Indigenous knowledge of rock kangaroo ecology in western Arnhem Land, Australia

Telfer, WR and Garde, MJ (2006). Indigenous knowledge of rock kangaroo ecology in western Arnhem Land, Australia. Human Ecology,34(3):379-406.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Indigenous knowledge of rock kangaroo ecology in western Arnhem Land, Australia
Author Telfer, WR
Garde, MJ
Journal Name Human Ecology
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 34
Issue Number 3
ISSN 0300-7839   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-33747876935
Start Page 379
End Page 406
Total Pages 28
Place of Publication USA
Publisher Springer Netherlands
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Indigenous peoples of western Arnhem Land, central northern Australia, have detailed knowledge of the rock kangaroos of the region, species that are little known to science. Information about the ecology of the species is required for their conservation and management. Ethnoecological studies can assist senior indigenous people with transfer of knowledge and can give respect and meaningful employment to those involved. We used semidirected interviews in the regional vernacular, Bininj Kunwok, to record indigenous knowledge of the ecology of the four rock kangaroo species (Petrogale brachyotis, P. concinna, Macropus bernardus and M. robustus). Discussions focussed on habitat preferences, diet, activity patterns, reproduction, predation, and hunting practices. The ethnoecological knowledge of the rock kangaroo species was extensive, and both complemented and extended that reported in the scientific literature. In contrast to scientific understanding of taxonomy and ecology, consultants recognized the rock kangaroos as a natural group. They also described subtle differences in the species’ comparative ecology. The methodology used proved highly successful and we recommend recording indigenous knowledge of the ecology of fauna species in the local vernacular wherever possible. This study is one of the most comprehensive ethnozoological studies of a group of species undertaken in Australia.
Keywords indigenous ecological knowledge (iek)
dry tropics
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