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    12043: Control and containment of Bellyache bush on Lake Kununurra

    Map of project area – Lake Kununurra is a long linear lake in the Ord River valley formed in 1963 by the construction of the Ord Diversion Dam. Courtesy Ord Land and Water.
    Map of project area – Lake Kununurra is a long linear lake in the Ord River valley formed in 1963 by the construction of the Ord Diversion Dam. Courtesy Ord Land and Water.

    Bellyache Bush (Jatropha gossypifolia) is an invasive shrub recently listed as a weed of national significance. It has the capacity to flower and fruit more than once a year producing large volumes of seed that remain viable for up to eight years.

    It is a poisonous plant that can form dense monocultures, outcompeting native vegetation.

    Bellyache bush is widespread 50 km upstream of Lake Kununurra but it is isolated by the expanse of Lake Argyle and downstream can only be found in isolated pockets.

    Ord Land and Water has been working on one of these isolated pockets of Bellyache bush since 2009. Miriuwung Gajerrong Rangers are carrying out control at the only other known infestation site on Lake Kununurra. The Department of Environment and Conservation has obtained federal funding to carry out control on isolated infestations on the Lower Ord River.

    This project will continue control of Bellyache bush at the 39 ha the project site, which is the largest of the known sites and is located the highest upstream. By controlling this infestation it will remove it as a source of seed that would, over time, allow the weed to maintain its spread downstream.

    Investment: $ 17 000
    Delivery organisation: Ord Land and Water
    Project duration: January 2013 - December 2013
    Location: Lake Kununurra, 36 kilometres south of Kununurra in the Kimberley

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