Lily’s ills

Weed a threat to biose­cu­rity

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - Taelor Pelusey

Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion is urg­ing land­hold­ers to join the bat­tle against the in­va­sive arum lily, and has al­ready en­listed more than 250 prop­erty own­ers and over­seen weed con­trols across 3000ha of pri­vate land.

River­care of­fi­cer Genevieve Han­ran-Smith said State Gov­ern­ment sup­port en­abled Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion to pay half the cost of weed con­trol con­trac­tors, and high­lighted the im­por­tance of a co­he­sive and col­lab­o­ra­tive approach.

“It’s such a big prob­lem, but if we can help peo­ple get on top of it, it will be more man­age­able into the fu­ture,” she said.

The de­clared pest, in­tro­duced from South Africa, is toxic to an­i­mals and chokes out na­tive veg­e­ta­tion.

It is a prized flower in many parts of the world, but is a ma­jor biose­cu­rity threat to the Aus­tralian environment.

Prop­erty owner Frank Ed­wards moved to Mar­garet River seven years ago and got in­volved with weed con­trol last year.

“Over the past few years, lots of in­for­ma­tion was be­ing made avail­able, and I learned that it can cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the river,” he said.

“We live close to the river and I re­alised I had to do some­thing.”

An­nual spray­ing is al­ready con­ducted on Gov­ern­ment- man­aged land, 1919ha in to­tal from 2012-2017. How­ever, con­ser­va­tion­ists say the weed is spread­ing and con­trol on pri­vate land will be key to erad­i­cat­ing it.

Prop­erty own­ers in Burn­side, Kil­car­nup, Mar­garet River, Redgate and Cal­gardup are now us­ing small amounts of her­bi­cide to con­trol the lily, which is es­ti­mated to re­duce growth by about 70 per cent af­ter the first ap­pli­ca­tion.

Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion is pre­par­ing a plan for tack­ling the lily across the Capes and will host a work­shop on Septem­ber 23, from 10am-1pm at McHenry Hohnen Es­tate.

Phone 9757 2202 or email gene vieve.han­ran­smith@na­ture­con­ser­va­ for de­tails.

Pic­ture: Taelor Pelusey

Na­ture Con­ser­va­tion's Drew Mcken­zie and land­holder Frank Ed­wards.

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