Conservation on Country

 / ©: Ellen Ariel / JCU / WWF-Aus
Kalvin from Gudjuda and Ellen Ariel, James Cook University, working together with WWF in Edgecombe Bay.
© Ellen Ariel / JCU / WWF-Aus
WWF is determined to assist Indigenous peoples and their organisations and communities to design, implement, monitor and evaluate conservation activities.
Partnerships with the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and Gudjuda Aboriginal Reference Group

WWF has signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and Gudjuda Aboriginal Reference Group, who are the traditional custodians of about one-third of the Great Barrier Reef.

The organisations represent 14 Traditional Owner groups from the picturesque Whitsunday Islands to the mouth of the Tully River, in the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics of northern Queensland.

The MOUs will develop strategies and action around the following principles:
  • partnership and collaboration
  • conservation and biodiversity
  • public communications
  • advocacy.

Marine turtle, dugong and coastal dolphin co-management

WWF has agreed to develop actions and strategies in the conservation of marine turtles, dugongs and coastal dolphins, with particular emphasis on:
  • generating greater awareness within traditional communities about the protection and conservation of these species
  • supporting other initiatives, such as existing turtle tagging programs across Gudjuda sea country
  • extending the monitoring and management to dugongs and dolphins
  • promoting and establishing Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) in important turtle, dugong and dolphin habitat.

Girringun country


The Girringun Aboriginal Corporation represents the interests of nine tribal groups: the Bandjin, Djiru, Girramay, Gugu Badhun, Gulnay, Jirrbal, Nywaigi, Warrgamay and Warungnu.

Broadly, the traditional country of these groups includes land to El Arish, south-west to the Tully River, north-west to Ravenshoe and Herberton, south to include country to the east of Einsleigh, south-west to Greenvale and east to Rollingstone on the coast. The offshore islands and water surrounding Hinchinbrook, Goold, Brooke Family and Dunk islands is also included.

Gudjuda country

Gudjuda represents the Bindal, Gnaro and Juru nations, covering an area from the Whitsunday Islands up to Townsville. This region is rich in biodiversity and includes one of the largest catchments in Australia – the Burdekin River.

The Gudjuda people are working closely with WWF to better understand a disease that is affecting marine turtles in Edgecombe Bay. WWF has commissioned a research project titled “Caring for Sea Country: combining forces to understand disease in gungu.
WWF-Australia respects and recognises the relationship Australia’s Indigenous peoples have with their lands and seas. More importantly, WWF is committed to their right to be involved in decision-making that may impact on those areas.