Fire Hunting in Australia

Uploaded by StanfordUniversity on 11.07.2012

[sound] Stanford University.
For the past 12 years we've been working closely with a group of Australian Aborigines
who refer to themselves as Martu.
Folks like Mardu and Mardu themselves have lived
in the western desert for many, many millennia.
[sound]. Mardu use fire, especially
For hunting monitor lizards. Women will set a fire line and clear off
the track and following behind the flames and track the
game to their winter time dens. And then they'll probe those dens and
excavate their guyanas within them. The boots on the ground, the pedestrian
hunting like this on a regular basis creates a very patchy mosaic on the
landscape with just a little bit of rain 6 months to a year after, you're going to
have all kinds of mature plants coming up and
the plants that come up Are not just the spin effects grass, that
you burned off, But they're the seed bank.
From a lot of other plants [sound] A Mardu hunting regime which creates more
diversity on the ground mediates against climate driven wildfires,
which are massive and have devastating consequences on the biota in the region.
The moral of the story is, we really, really need folk to know what
they're doing and how to manage these resources out there.
These communities are sanctuaries, they're sanctuaries for their culture, they're
sanctuaries for the very desert biota. And without support for these communities,
we will be losing a critical component of global biodiversity.
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