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    09042: Management of invasive weeds in the Pilbara

    Permanent pools on the Fortescue River, threatened by invading parkinsonia. Courtesy Linda Anderson, Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc.
    Permanent pools on the Fortescue River, threatened by invading parkinsonia. Courtesy Linda Anderson, Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc.

    Infestations of declared weed species mesquite, parkinsonia and calotropis along river systems in the Pilbara are severely degrading the local environment.

    Competition between the weeds and native vegetation has led to a loss of plant biodiversity. This has reduced the food and shelter available to native animals, which has in turn resulted in a loss of animal diversity. Weed infestations have also made feral animal control more difficult, weakened the stability of river banks and altered catchment hydrology.

    With the help of State NRM Program funding, the Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc. is working with pastoralists, government agencies and Indigenous groups to promote and implement best practice control of these declared weed species along riparian habitats within the DeGrey, Fortescue and Ashburton catchments.

    Investment: $ 210 750
    Delivery organisation: Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc.
    Project duration: July 2010 - December 2012
    Location: Pilbara region

    Major project achievements

    • Training and capacity building to 35 project participants to effectively manage and control identified weeds.
    • Mapping, identification and control of parkinsonia and mesquite over 300km of riparian systems.
    • Monitoring of 40 photographic sites.
    • Field day to engage locals in mechanical treatment of large and dense mesquite communities.

    Lessons learnt

    • Below average rainfall delayed commencement of weed control due to the perennial nature of many of the weeds.
    • Universal herbicide or known herbicides may not always succeed in weed removal.
    • Mapping, data and results from previous studies were identified as insufficient due to the inconsistency and lack of survey methodology (noted by land managers).

    Project partners

    Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee; Rangelands NRM; Department of Agriculture and Food; Department of Parks and Wildlife; Shire of Roeburn; Shire of Ashburton; Pilbara Regional Biosecurity Group; Pastoral Community in the Pilbara; Resource Community in the Pilbara

    More information

    Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee Inc. (08) 9144 1844 or pmmcinc@bigpond.net.au

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