Indigenous knowledge in conservation science and the process of a two-way research collaboration

Amanda Lilleyman, Gabrial Millar, Samantha Burn, Kyle Hunt Lew Fatt, Aleana Talbot, Jimmy Que-Noy, Steven Dawson, Ben Williams, Alan Mummery, Sarah Rolland, Shania Wilson, Emily Jacobson, Benjamin C.D. Smith

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Environmental research often occurs in short bursts with the duration of fieldwork often governed by the time constraints of a funding body. Collaborations between academic researchers and Indigenous People have occurred for many years and the exchange of information can create value and knowledge for both participants in the collaboration. Indigenous People play a vital role as knowledge keepers in environmental science and can, in some instances, provide a more secure repository of local knowledge and conservation practice than digital archives. In this essay, Indigenous Rangers on Larrakia country in Darwin, Australia, and a non-Indigenous academic researcher describe how value-creation was increased for both parties involved in a collaborative project on the migratory shorebird far eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis). We share our experiences of expectations, the development of methods, the codeveloped goals and complementary ways of thinking to manage threatened species at a local scale, the scale at which the local Larrakia People operate. Through our collaboration, we show that both parties within the collaboration can benefit and create value for a species of conservation concern that has not typically been considered culturally important.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12727
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Science and Practice
Issue number8
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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