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    09084: Kimberley grader grass action plan

    Grader grass infestation along a local roadside. Courtesy Joanna Atkins, Drysdale River Station
    Grader grass infestation along a local roadside. Courtesy Joanna Atkins, Drysdale River Station

    Grader grass is native to India, but now also occurs in many tropical areas around the world. Since its introduction to north Queensland in the 1930s, the species has reached as far south as Nowra on the NSW south coast and as far west as Broome in WA. It is widespread through virtually all coastal and many northern inland regions of Queensland and to a lesser extent in the Northern Territory and in WA.

    In its native range in India, grader grass grows best in areas receiving between 500 mm and 1250 mm of rainfall annually, although it grows in areas receiving as little as 375 mm. Based on these figures and current rates of infestation, it is possible that grader grass will spread to all regions of Australia except alpine, arid and semi-arid environments.

    In Australia, grader grass is capable of invading both native and improved pastures and, due to its low palatability, can greatly reduce animal productivity if it becomes dominant in a pasture. It can also significantly reduce species diversity in native grassland areas, forming virtual monocultures and excluding almost all other species by preventing seedling establishment.

    The objective for this project is threefold:

    • undertake with landholders a comprehensive field-based mapping exercise to determine the distribution of grader grass in the North Kimberley Land Conservation District Committee area
    • prepare a map, accurately depicting infestations
    • prepare a treatment plan, with priorities for treatment based on mapping results and available methods for treatment.
    Investment: $ 10 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 3 000
    Delivery organisation: North Kimberley Land Conservation District Committee
    Project duration: January 2011 - September 2011
    Location: North Kimberley Land Conservation District

    Major project achievements

    • Distribution of grader grass in the central and north Kimberley was mapped following interviews with residents and aerial and vehicle based surveys.
    • Action Plan prepared outlining the most practical and effective means of controlling grader grass in the region.

    Project partners

    Australian Wildlife Conservancy; Department of Agriculture and Food; Department of Environment and Conservation

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