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    09087: Weed control at Lake Gladstone

    Lake Gladstone from the air looking between Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary and Mt House Station. Courtesy W. Lawler, Australian Wildlife Conservancy
    Lake Gladstone from the air looking between Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary and Mt House Station. Courtesy W. Lawler, Australian Wildlife Conservancy

    Lake Gladstone is the largest permanent wetland in the Kimberley and one of only three wetlands in the region listed on the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia. It is located adjacent to, but unconnected with, the west side of the Hann River in the central Kimberley.

    The lake is Crown tenure, on land designated as a travelling stock route and is home to a large number of waterbird species, both migratory and resident, including a number of species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

    Recognising the immense natural value of this area, in 2005 a stock-proof fence was erected around Lake Gladstone by neighbouring property managers. Since cattle have been excluded from the lake, the wetland vegetation has recovered, the bird community has increased in species richness and abundance, and the water quality has dramatically improved. However, the history of disturbance around the lake has made the area vulnerable to invasion by weeds.

    This project intends to significantly reduce the distribution and abundance of introduced plant species at Lake Gladstone by employing 'bush regeneration' weed control techniques, a process whereby individual plants are located for cut-and-paint or basal bark chemical application, as opposed to broad-scale chemical application.

    Bush regeneration methods ensure that desirable native species are left in-situ around the target plant and promote quicker response of the native suite of species. The approach is labour intensive, but extremely desirable when considering the speed with which native species are able to recolonise.

    Investment: $ 9 000
    Other contribution: $ 20
    Delivery organisation: Australian Wildlife Conservancy on behalf of Tirralintji Aboriginal community
    Project duration: July 2010 - December 2011
    Location: Lake Gladstone, adjacent to Hann River, Central Kimberley

    Major project achievements

    • Weed control within 123 ha fenced area of Lake Gladstone completed.
    • Work carried out by four Indigenous people from the Tirralintji-Yulumbu communities, supervised by an Australian Wildlife Conservancy staff member.

    Project partners

    North Kimberley Land Conservation District Committee

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