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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)
- Arts and Humanities(all)