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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Yanyuwa IPA and li-Anthawirriuarra Sea Rangers

Located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Yanyuwa Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was dedicated in July 2011. It includes more than 130,000 hectares of ancient land alongside the McArthur River at Borroloola and the stunning Sir Edward Pellew archipelago islands. These five islands are an important refuge for native mammals threatened on the mainland and for nesting marine turtles and seabirds.

Yanyuwa IPA is named after its Traditional Owners, the Yanyuwa people. They manage their country according to their law, created by ancestral beings as they travelled across the land and sea. Traditional Owners established the li-Anthawirriyarra (people of the sea) Sea Ranger Unit as a means to help manage this vast estate.

Sea turtles and dugong are culturally significant to Yanyuwa, and the li-Anthawirriyarra Rangers run an annual Maabayi sea turtle camp that links sea turtle research with getting families back on country. The rangers also actively reduce threats to native wildlife by managing fire and feral animals such as cats and pigs. 

NT - Arnhem Land region
Project Website:
Administration Organisation
Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Association
Sea patrol on Yanyuwa IPA. Photo: © Fiona Keighran
Sea patrol on Yanyuwa IPA. Photo: © Fiona Keighran