Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Dr Hugo Bekle

Abstract

The principle aim of this study was to reconstruct the land use history of the Yellagonga Regional Park wetland landscape. Located approximately twenty kilometres north of Perth, covering about 1400 hectares, the Park lies within the North-West Corridor of the metropolitan area. This research, assisted by archival sources, demonstrates that prior to early European settlement the Yellagonga wetlands were quintessential summer hunting and gathering sites for the Nyoongar Aboriginal people. The wetlands were utilised for water, food gathering, hunting, corroborees and rituals that governed their tribal lives. Early European settlers, market gardeners, and later subdivision for urban development, have adversely transformed the Park over time. These pressures stem as a result of groundwater abstraction (bores), pollution, removal of native vegetation, invasion of weeds, stormwater drainage from residential and industrial areas, and more recently climate change, a global phenomenon. Consequently, the environmental quality of the Park has been undermined and it faces significant challenges for current and future management of its ecological and cultural values. This study offers an ecological perspective on the Park's wetlands, chronologically measures the human footprint on its landscape, and maps the changes faced by the Park since the Aboriginal people's sustainable ecology and guardianship was removed. Research such as this is essential to ensure that disappearing wetland landscapes such as the Yellagonga Regional Park are maintained and protected. The information from this study might be applied to other localities and environments

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