Cactus control ramped up
The State Government has declared November “Cactus Month” as part of a campaign to raise awareness and fight the spread of invasive pest cactus species’.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is urging landholders across the Mid West to report cases of cactus infestation and do their bit to help control outbreaks.
Particularly damaging are opuntioid or “prickly pear” cacti, a sub-family that competes with native plants and threatens livestock. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development invasive species manager Kay Bailey said there were 23 known species of opuntiod cactus in WA, eight of which were found in the northern agricultural region.
“These are declared pests under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, requiring landholders to control these pests on their properties,” she said.
“Control and eradication activities for cacti can range from biological control, using cactoblastis moths and cochineal insects, to mechanical removal and chemical spraying or injecting techniques. “Opuntioid cacti can form dense thickets with long spines, which become impenetrable and can be harmful to livestock and native fauna.”
The recently formed Northern Biosecurity Group has received $30,000 of funding from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to help manage the declared species.
The group comprises landholders from the shires of Northhampton and Chapman Valley, as well as Mullewadistrict.
Co-ordinator Marieke Jansen urged landholders to work together with the group.
“We would like landholders to get in contact with us if they are aware of any infestations in bushlands, along creeks or in other agricultural areas, as we may be able to assist to control and eradicate the species,” she said.
Infestations can be reported to Ms Jansen by calling 0427 898 160, or by calling the Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080.