Application deadline: 31st May 2024
Indigenous knowledge of native Australian birds, their life cycles and habitat needs is profound and has made a substantial contribution to the scientific study of birds in this country. With our Indigenous Grant for Bird Research and Conservation, BirdLife Australia acknowledges this contribution and facilitates the further engagement of Indigenous People in research and conservation of our native birds.
Applications from groups planning to survey birds and habitats in Australia’s Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are particularly encouraged, but we also invite groups from outside KBAs to apply.
The Indigenous Grant for Bird Research and Conservation provides resources and training for Indigenous groups through the facilitation of workshops in a number of priority areas:
The grants are valued at $5000. They consist of $2,000 for equipment such as binoculars, spotting scopes, identification books, tablets and other related needs for their project. It also provides $3,000 in-kind for staff time and travel costs for a BirdLife conservation team member to hold an in-person workshop on country.
Funds are limited and not all applications may be funded, but BirdLife Australia may support the applicant’s conservation work in other ways, such as providing access to data, regardless of the outcome of the application.
Applications for the 2024 Indigenous Grant for Bird Research open 1 May.
The merit of applications will be judged on:
2022: The Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation from Central Australia — to set up bird and biodiversity surveys to monitor the Diamantina and Cooper Floodplain KBAs for waterbirds and inland specialties, as well as other species of cultural significance.
2021: The Yuku Baja Mukilu Indigenous Rangers from Far North Queensland — to conduct a workshop to train Indigenous Rangers and community members in the techniques necessary to monitor Red Goshawks and Rufous Owls — both culturally significant and threatened species.
2020: The Tjaaltrjaak Rangers from southern Western Australia — to conduct a workshop that will support their aim of identifying and monitoring waterbirds, including shorebirds, contributing to the management of wetlands in the Esperance area.
2019: The Gudjuda Land and Sea Rangers from Far North Queensland — to support their work on native birds in the Bowling Green KBA, including their Coastal Birdcard Identification project. And the Larrakia Land and Sea Rangers from the Shoal Bay area, east of Darwin — to monitor waterbirds and the threats to their coastal habitats, thereby informing their own management actions and conservation work.
2018: The Timber Creek Rangers from the Northern Territory — to assist on-ground environmental work on birds — particularly the Purple-crowned Fairy-wren — in the Judbarra–Gregory National Park and Victoria River District, including conducting a workshop to inform the Rangers, Traditional Owners and children.
2017: The Tiwi Land Council from the Tiwi Islands, off the Top End — to assist with on-ground conservation work in the Pirripatiriyi–Seagull Island KBA, a globally significant breeding site for Crested Terns, including a workshop to teach the rangers techniques in monitoring and management of the tern colony.
2016: The Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation from Higginson Island, off the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory — to conduct a bird identification and monitoring workshop, providing skills to undertake the annual Easter Health-check for the Higginson Island KBA, home to internationally significant populations of Bridled and Roseate Terns.
2015: The Milingimbi & Outstations Progress Resource Association (Crocodile Islands Rangers), from Arnhem Land — to further Indigenous Rangers’ bird identification skills to boost monitoring of important shorebird and seabird sites in Arnhem Land. Also the Djunbunji Land & Sea Program, from North Queensland — to provide its Rangers with specialist skills in bird identification and management to set the foundation for on-going shorebird monitoring. And Parks Australia (Kakadu National Park) — to conduct hands-on workshops for Indigenous Rangers, Traditional Owners and Indigenous children to understand the requirements of the threatened birds — particularly migratory shorebirds — which live in Kakadu.
2014: The Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation from North Queensland — to conduct workshops to build capacity through training in bird monitoring and conservation in the Daintree, Wooroonooran and Michaelmas Cay KBAs. This will allow rangers to better understand their local birds and monitor them. Also the Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council from the Gulf of Carpentaria — to conduct workshops to increase knowledge about shorebirds and their management to allow Mapoon Land & Sea Rangers to monitor migratory shorebirds. And Parks Australia (Kakadu National Park) — to conduct a workshop which combines Traditional ecological knowledge with western taxonomy and scientific methods to enhance the skills of Indigenous Rangers in bird identification and monitoring.
2013: Lenore Dembski— to facilitate a recovery plan for the Endangered Gouldian Finch on Kungarakan and Warai Country, engaging Traditional Owners on work to protect the Gouldian Finch and other local species. And Alison Ross — to collaborate with Dr Myfany Turpin from the University of Queensland to document the bird knowledge of the Kaytetye Elders of Central Australia to gain an insight into their understanding of the birds which inhabit their remote area.