Sawfish Stories in Broome

Posted on November 12, 2018

We recently brought our popular 'Sawfish Stories' event to Broome where it was met with keen interest from the local community!

Over 120 attendees heard about the valuable work carried out by 'Team Sawfish'  using cultural knowledge and western science from Indigenous rangers and Murdoch University scientists — to study and protect critically endangered sawfish.

The scientists & Nyikina Mangala rangers had just returned from a field-trip to the Fitzroy studying sawfish and other river animals. They shared interesting and exhilarating updates from the trip — including how to deal with 45 degree temperatures plus crocodile encounters!

It was great news to hear that they had collected a lot of new and important data on sawfish activity. Last year the scientists had attached custom-made fitness trackers to five sawfish pups. They will now analyse the data from the trackers to find ways to protect the species.

"We know the Fitzroy's the last in tact nursery habitat for this species of sawfish in the world that we know of so it is a pretty important environment." said Karissa Lear during the presentation.

Enjoy these excellent photos taken by talented local photographer Damian Kelly.


Kids were fascinated by the impressive collection of sawfish rostra that the scientists brought along!
Martin from Environs Kimberley spoke passionately about protecting the Fitzroy from looming threats of fracking, dams & water-extraction
Answering a question from the audience, Nathan Green explains that 5 metres is the biggest sawfish he’s ever seen in the river!
The Nyikina Mangala rangers play a critical role in monitoring and protecting sawfish in the Fitzroy. They are also kept very busy managing feral animals, weeds & wildfires across their country.
Redman spoke of his concern of poisoning the fresh water of the Fitzroy, through fracking and mining proposals
The Q&A with the rangers was entertaining and interesting
Karissa Lear explains her groundbreaking research project tracking sawfish movement and behaviour
Dr Adrian Gleiss gave an fascinating overview of sawfish, and why the Fitzroy River is particuarly important for the survival of this critically endangered species
Great group shot!

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