Indigenous Communities

and the Environment

Uunguu Indigenous Protected Area

Antara-Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Area

North west South Australia | Declared in in June 2011

I have been looking after my country for a long time; it's all about looking after country.
Ngilin Dodd, traditional owner, Sandy Bore

Covering more than 846,000 hectares of South Australia's arid Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, the Antara-Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Area is dominated by the Everard Ranges to the north and sandplain country to the south. The area's traditional owners known as Nguraritja declared the Indigenous Protected Area in June 2011.

Nguraritja have lived in and managed this part of South Australia for tens of thousands of years according to Tjukurpa, traditional law.

Photos: Anangu teaching children the emu dance, Antara-Sandy Bore. Courtesy of the Antara-Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Area and Parks Australia.

Photos: Anangu teaching children the emu dance, Antara-Sandy Bore. Courtesy of the Antara-Sandy Bore Indigenous Protected Area and Parks Australia.

Two important Tjukurpa dreaming lines, for ngintaka, perentie - Australia's largest goanna and tjaala, honey ants, pass through the Indigenous Protected Area. Tjukurpa dreaming lines such as these were created by the ancestors, who shaped the landscape as they travelled across it.

Along these lines Nguraritja also see evidence of the events in which the ancestors were involved, events which laid down traditional law.

Antara-Sandy Bore is home to a number of significant and threatened species including itjaritjari, a marsupial mole. Senior Nguraritja speak of a time when warru, black flanked rock wallabies were abundant in the Everard Ranges. They are no longer found in the area but Nguraritja believe that, with land management including the control of feral predators, warru can be successfully reintroduced to the Indigenous Protected Area.

There are also a number of rare plants within the protected area. The Everard garland lily was only discovered by European scientists in 2000 during a biological survey of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.

Despite the changes since European occupation, Nguraritja have renewed their capacity to manage their traditional lands with the help of the Australian Government.

Traditional ecological knowledge is the basis for the management of Antara-Sandy Bore. It is used alongside western scientific techniques to conserve the natural and cultural values of the landscape. Nguraritja are keen to explore economic opportunities that are consistent with sustainable land management, such as small-scale tourism ventures and the harvesting of feral animals.

The Australian Government's Working on Country program supports Indigenous rangers, based in the small community of Mimili, to carry out on-ground works in the area. The nearest major town is Alice Springs, about 450 kilometres away. These rangers take part in a variety of management activities including weed control, fencing, cultural heritage conservation, biological surveys and threatened species management.

Since 2000, four other Indigenous Protected Areas have been declared in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands. These are Watarru, Walalkara, Kalka Pipalyatjara and, recently, Apari-Makiri-Punti. Together these form a continuous chain of adjoining Indigenous Protected Areas that run west from Antara-Sandy Bore and link with Ngaanyatjarra Indigenous Protected Area in Western Australia, creating a continuous protected area over 750 kilometres long. Antara-Sandy Bore also contributes to a vast wildlife corridor being developed by the South Australian and Northern Territory governments, known as the 'Trans-Australia Eco-Link'. This is expected to ultimately stretch from the Northern Territory's Arnhem Land coast to Port Augusta on the Great Australian Bight.

Apara-Makiri-Punti and Antara-Sandy Bore were jointly funded with $145,000 in 2010-11 under the Indigenous Protected Areas program. They also received an additional $43,266 for urgent patch burning work required after recent seasons of high rainfall led to a large build-up of grass fuels.

Like all Indigenous Protected Areas, Antara-Sandy Bore is part of the National Reserve System - our nation's most secure way of protecting native habitat for future generations. The Indigenous Protected Area is managed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Category VI, as a protected area with sustainable use of natural resources.

Download the Antara-Sandy Bore fact sheet (PDF - 1.8 MB)