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Abstract

Gunanurang (the Ord River) nurtured some of the original Australians productively for millennia. In less than 150 years, their relationship with the river valley and surrounding land was almost destroyed by the effects of the east Kimberley cattle industry commenced in the 1880s. The biological and archaeological surveys before and during the filling of the Lake Argyle dam were a belated attempt to understand what was being lost in the way of ecosystems and aboriginal sites. This short essay encapsulates the impact of the pastoral industry in the Ord valley.

Author Biography

Laurie Smith is a retired zoologist. His professional experience has resulted in many publications on the distribution, ecology and systematics of terrestrial vertebrates in Western Australia and Indonesia. In 2009 and 2010 he was a Resident with SymbioticA, a research facility at University of Western Australia dedicated to artistic enquiry into knowledge and technology in the life sciences.

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