Savanna Explorer > Arnhem Land > Weeds > Aboriginal Management of Weeds

Aboriginal Management of Weeds

Traditional knowledge

Aboriginal landowners in the Arnhem region have a strong sense of responsibility towards their land. However, traditional ecological knowledge, so valuable concerning issues such as fire management, has limitations in dealing with land-management problems (such as weeds) which are new to the experience of Aboriginal people.

  Wild passion fruit

The fruit of weeds like wild passionfruit, flowering above, are used by Aboriginal people
Photo: Greg Calvert

In pre-colonial Australia, there was no need for the concept of a weed, since ecological communities were generally stable under traditional Aboriginal land practices. Aboriginal people can therefore have difficulty appreciating the potential environmental impact of weed spread. It is vital that Aboriginal landowners have access to culturally appropriate information on introduced plant species so they can make informed decisions about growing them on their country.

Useful weeds?

Some introduced species are considered by some Aboriginal groups to be useful plants rather than weeds. For example, people eat fruits of wild passionfruit (Passiflora foetida), rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) and chinee apple (Ziziphus mauritiana ). Other species are not considered deleterious to the environment and may be accepted as part of the local flora, and may be eaten by some animals. Often in these situations there is no perceived need to remove them. Nonetheless, Aboriginal people do recognise certain invasive, non-useable weed species as problems.

Documents

01. Not from Here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Opening pages, contents and summary [pdf 1.0 Mb]


01. Towards more strategic management of weeds on Top End Aboriginal Lands
By Mark Gardener, February, 2005 [pdf 1.3 Mb]


02. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Summary of Recommendations [pdf 60.0 kb]


03. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
The problem with weeds [pdf 180.7 kb]


04. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Overview: Weed data for Aboriginal lands in the NLC area [pdf 817.0 kb]


05. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Weed management [pdf 183.9 kb]


06. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Resources and Support for Weed Management [pdf 153.3 kb]


07. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Training [pdf 117.0 kb]


08. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Awareness [pdf 110.3 kb]


09. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Collaboration and partners [pdf 46.9 kb]


10. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Weeds and current management activities by catchment [pdf 1.3 Mb]


11. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Appendix 1: Descriptions of high priority weeds [pdf 687.1 kb]


12. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Appendices 2-6: Weed prevention; weed control; NT Noxious Weeds Act; Integrated weed control; Weed species on Aboriginal lands [pdf 272.2 kb]


13. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Appendices 7-9: Weed proforma; Access to digital data [pdf 70.9 kb]


14. Not from here: Plant invasions on Aboriginal lands of the Top End
Weed species index [pdf 42.4 kb]


Prime Notes: Weeds in the tropical savannas
Prime Notes: Weeds in the tropical savannas [pdf 67.7 kb]


Publications by researchers: 1999-2000
[pdf 100.2 kb]


Topical Savannas Issue 40, 19 October 2000
[pdf 99.7 kb]