In March 2019, Helen Davidson from The Guardian wrote an
alarming article, it was titled “Record
Numbers of Australian Wildlife Species Face Imminent Extinction”. Just the
title is enough to make you cringe, knowing that with the recent greenlight
approval of the Adani Mine, is a signal that our government doesn’t give a crap
about the environment or its flora and fauna. To have a government that refuses
to act on any environmental issues (just Google ‘climate change Australia’)
means that is if left to everyday brain-cell-having, future-thinking-of,
This brings us to the documentary of Saving Warru.
Saving Warru chronicles
the efforts of the Indigenous Rangers of the APY lands in South Australia’s North-West
to bring back the Warru, or the Black-Footed Rock Wallaby, from extinction
level numbers. In fact, in 2007 their numbers dropped below 200 in the APY
lands, making it one of South Australia’s most endangered species.
If nothing else, Saving
Warru showcases how beautiful the APY Lands are. Outback Australia has long
been a fascination for many and this documentary shows that it’s for good
reason. But scenery isn’t the best part of it, it’s the passion of those trying
to save the Warru. The Indigenous Rangers are passionate, eager to see the
environment get back to what it once was. They are also committed, with vision
from 2004 highlighting how long and how hard they’ve been working to save the
Warru from predators and habitat degradation. There are a lot of predators too,
with feral cats and foxes proving to be the biggest threat.
It’s not only people in the APY Lands trying to save Warru
either, with the Monarto Zoo, just outside South Australian regional city
Murray Bridge, also playing a major part. Baby Warru are transported to Monarto
Zoo to help raise them, with that aim of them to be returned to their natural
environment when they are older and more able to protect themselves.
The program has been a big success. Monarto Zoo has been
visited by several politicians who have enjoyed seeing the programs progress as
well as celebrities. Anthropologist and Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has also
The conservation project also has other upsides, such as
providing the local Indigenous communities with work, inspiration and great
role models. The Indigenous rangers even go into local schools in help teach
the kids about the environment and its inhabitants and how it can provide jobs
The documentary shows how pivotal conservation is in keeping
habitats safe for native species in the face of the human exploitation of the
land. Saving Warru is produced and
directed by Daniel Clarke and Amy Pysden of Ninti Media. The pair do a great job at
putting together a broad image that helps to produce an informative and
constructive look at the work that goes into saving a species. Considering
Helen Davidson’s article, it seems that there is a lot more work to do, so I
implore everyone, conversationalist or conservative, to watch this documentary.
It’s a gem.
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