The devil is in the detail – the ecology of ngiyari (thorny devils, Moloch horridus) at Uluru

  • Schlesinger, Christine (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)
  • Tucker, Mike (Other)
  • Swan, Shaeleigh (Other)

Project: Research

Project Details


Our project, situated on Anangu country, within the jointly-managed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (UKTNP), focuses on the autoecology and thermal ecology of thorny devils, (Moloch horridus). We use the local Pitjantjatjara name – ngiyari – for the species. The research was conceived following questioning by two young Anangu women, students of Nyangatjatjara College, about ngiyari activity and mortality on the Uluru roads between their home and school. Motivated to build on their curiosity, MT approached CS about research that could also feed into a two-way science curriculum. Together with UKJNP, during a pilot phase completed in 2021, we have co-developed a project that enables and responds to input from diverse members of the community with local co-benefits as a central priority. Using the research as catalyst, and through the Nyangatjatjara College, we aim to form tangible links between scientific methods, local experience and knowledge of the community including that held by Anangu youth, senior knowledge holders and nonAnangu, and the conservation and management interests of the UKTNP. The approach and the anticipated broader social outcomes provide important context for the ecological project.
Short titleThorny devil ecology
Effective start/end date4/07/2230/06/25


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