Rangers protecting the Reef

Duration 00:01:59

Parks rangers protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

Tracey Solomon: [00:00:00]

If there's no reef, there's nothing for us.

Tracey Solomon: [00:00:06]

We're here in Bowen on Giru Country and this is our totem. The turtle is a gangoo and the snake our Gubulla Munda. We're Land and Sea Rangers. We go out doing turtle tagging. We measure them and then we lift them up and we weigh them. We sit there, we talk to it, we pat it and we wipe it down, wipe its eyes. We check for any fibropapilloma, it's a disease, and then we write it all down, put it on the computer and then we send it up to JCU (James Cook University).

Tracey Solomon: [00:00:45]

It's so important to me to learn about what I do on country so then I can go back and I can tell my family and my grandkids. And then when they get older I would rather them come in and do something too. We also work with field management rangers up and down the coast.

Nicole Hitchcock: [00:01:18]

I grew up learning about marine biology and doing boating and diving and I wanted to work in that kind of environment and help protect what we've got out there. In marine parks we look after wildlife in I guess a holistic way. We're looking after the habitat of a lot of animals. We're looking after the marine park, the reef, the islands and we're trying to ensure that there's good habitat for those animals to be surviving.

Nicole Hitchcock: [00:01:40]

On a typical day in the field, we might jump in the water and do some reef health impact surveys. We monitor things like coral bleaching, coral disease and crown-of-thorn starfish, marine animal strandings so when turtles or mammals wash up on the beaches.

Nicole Hitchcock: [00:02:29]

I feel very privileged to be able to be contributing to the conservation of such an amazing place, especially one that showcases a lot of natural beauty, natural values of the Great Barrier Reef and the islands.

Rangers are present on and around the Great Barrier Reef every single day. The Reef and the islands are their passion and their on-the-ground action contributes to its health and resilience.

Two groups working to protect the Reef, local waterways and coastal lands are the Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers and Field Management Program rangers.

Ranger actions include cleaning up shore lines, controlling pests, providing visitor infrastructure, biodiversity monitoring, responding to incidents and educating others.


Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers care for land and sea country across 24 regional and remote communities. Many of the Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers are traditional owners of the land they manage and through their roles bring together traditional cultures and practices with environmental management based on the best available science.

There are over 100 rangers working to preserve Queensland’s natural wonders through activities such as fire management, weed and feral animal management and biodiversity surveys.

Many Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers undertake Junior Ranger programs in their local communities, sharing their first-hand experience with school students and introducing them to land and sea management.

Photo courtesy: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Rangers, operating under the Field Management Program, deliver essential services across the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to protect and maintain marine and island ecosystems.

Field rangers monitor important turtle and seabird breeding islands, remove pests, develop walking tracks and camping areas, conduct compliance activities, survey vulnerable species, respond to environmental incidents, welcome visitors and conduct controlled burns to prevent wildfires.

The Field Management Program is delivered by the Queensland Government’s Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

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How you can help

From the Great Barrier Reef to Moreton Bay, all Queensland waterways are connected. There are things all of us can do to help. For example, avoiding littering, wherever you live, will prevent litter getting into waterways and making its way to the Great Barrier Reef. If you live in Reef catchment areas, you can make sure soil and fertiliser stays on your property.

When visiting the Reef, you can help the rangers by enjoying the Reef responsibly and participating in a Citizen Science program to monitor the health of corals and marine animals.

Find out more about how you can help.