In January 2022 Marlee Djinda was invited to Tjaltjraak aboriginal corporations lands for the purposes of assisting the ranger program in scanning some area of cultural significance as well identifying invasive species. Marlee Djinda was invited to scan the lands around a traditional burial site.
The next day the team presented their findings thinking that the above horseshoe shape clearly visible in the scanned image was something that the elders were interested in, but it turns out no one knew this area actually existed.
The above horseshoe shaped seating area is considered to be an ancient seating spot, measuring approximately 10 meters in diameter, this is where communities would meet many years ago, given its close proximity to the burial sites it may be a place for remembrance and contemplation. Further investigation into this spiritual place is now being undertaken by the local ranger program.
This shows just how powerful the drone scanning ability can be in identifying places of cultural significance. Given the large size of the lands under council it is not until you start to get a bird’s eye view of the lands that areas like this can be uncovered and understood.
Please reach us through the contact page if you would like to learn more about this story, including any updates on the journey of understanding more about its significance to the local community.
Kanpa community unexplained heat signature.
Unexplained Heat Signature on Western Australian Traditional Lands
In June 2021, Marlee Djinda went out to Kanpa community in the lands of the Ngannyatjarra council for the purposes of initial trials on using our drone based sensors to assist the local councils with a pilot Landcare package. On country for one week, several areas were selected for potential contamination, invasive species detection and areas of cultural significance that the local Elder, Preston Thomas, would like to document.
Marlee Djinda quickly identified areas where previous mining exploration had taken place, based on the remains of runways that had been created for the purposes of flying in the equipment needed to identify if there are suitable deposits for mining. We used multiple sensors that allow for normally photography to be taken alongside thermal imaging.
The above pictures are of the same plot of land, which is right next to an old, now disused runway. What looks like the remnants of a mining camp with man-made tracks that have a particular heat signature that is consistent with contamination.
We have applied to the Federal government for funding so that we can pursue further testing of this site to identify the reason for this unexplained heat signature. Many other mining exploration camps and runways are all over the Ngaanyatjarra Council lands, we are excited to pursue a pilot program to cover all the lands and test for unexplained potential contamination as part of a Landcare Management program.
African Boxthorn detection
In January 2022, as part of an invitation to take our technology to the Tjaltjraak Corporation’s lands we were tasked with assisting the local ranger program with detecting the spread of African Boxthorn. African Boxthorn is considered a Weed of National Significance (WONS) and is regarded as one of the worst invasive flora species in Australia. It spreads incredibly quickly and if not managed via early detection it can destroy native ecosystems, pastoral and agricultural lands if left unmanaged.
Using our spectral sensors, we have managed to capture the unique signature of the African Boxthorn. The above two photos will show the unique Vegetation Index signature for African Boxthorn allowing us to quickly scan, map and determine the spread of this invasive pest over large areas of land. The areas coloured blue above are African Boxthorn.
Not only can we continue to map the spread of African Boxthorn, via our software solution that allows us to calculate the total coverage area of Boxthorn on the scanned lands, we can also assist with management techniques by providing a visual representation of just how effective different management techniques are in removing the invasive species over time.
As you can see from the second image, the accuracy of the detection of African Boxthorn really does allow you to capture young plants, allowing for removal at an early stage, which would not be possible without this amazing technology.
Please contact us for information on how Marlee Djinda can incorporate this service into your existing Landcare Management practices. We have even used this technology to fly over uninhabited islands in the archipelago of Esperance, allowing for the opportunity to monitor invasive species on islands where human interaction is required to be kept to a minimum.