Burning and hunting in Australia's western desert

Douglas W. Bird, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Christopher H. Parker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Even though the central role of fire in the terrestrial biodiversity of Australia is widely acknowledged, we have a limited understanding of the factors that determine the decisions that Aborigines make in maintaining landscape burning regimes (see review in Bowman 1998, pp. 389-390). Discussions of Aboriginal firing practices have generally focused on three interrelated aspects: (1) possible changes in burning regimes indicated by paleoecological records coincident with the arrival of humans in Australia, and subsequent changes in vegetation demography and distribution; (2) the relationship between firing, the primary extinction of Pleistocene mega fauna, and historic declines and extinctions of small-medium-sized marsupials; and (3) the role of Aboriginal burning as a general land management strategy for increasing food supplies and maintaining wildlife habitats. Our aim is to address the fire management issue with data on the immediate and long-term benefits accruing to Martu Aborigines in the Western Desert of Australia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman Ecology
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Research and Practice
PublisherSpringer US
Pages127-142
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781441957009
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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    Bird, D. W., Bird, R. B., & Parker, C. H. (2010). Burning and hunting in Australia's western desert. In Human Ecology: Contemporary Research and Practice (pp. 127-142). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5701-6_9