Funding for weed problem
More than $5 million has been committed by the State Government to tackle an invasive weed suffocating native plants across the Pilbara.
The stinking passionflower, or passion vine, is an American creeping vine with an edible passionfruit-style fruit, which can be found covering native scrub and trees.
Although the fruit is edible, the leaves contain cyanic acid and are poisonous to humans and livestock. It is highly visible around popular watercourses, such as Miaree Pool and in Millstream-Chichester National Park.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the $5.5 million allocation would tackle the significant conservation risk posed by the stinking passionflower.
“Invasive alien weeds are one of the greatest threats to our native plants and animals, and the main focus of the new program is to develop longterm management options to reduce the impact of this vine,” he said.
“Stinking passionflower has a smothering effect on native plants and animals.
“It is poisonous to humans and livestock, and creates problems for mine site rehabilitation, agriculture, tourism and culturally significant areas.”
Department of Parks and Wildlife and CSIRO scientists will research the conditions in which the stinking passionflower thrives in its native lands to develop ways to better control the weed in WA.
Mr Jacob said the eight-year project would have a budget of $8.6 million, with $3.1 million provided through in-kind support from Parks and Wildlife and CSIRO.
This funding complements four Gorgon net conservation benefits projects, including the Dirk Hartog Island Ecological Restoration project.