Quick ac­tion wipes out in­va­sive weed

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

An in­va­sive weed on the is­lands of the Dampier Archipelago has been de­clared “cac­tus” thanks to a sur­vey­ing and spray­ing op­er­a­tion by the Pil­bara Mesquite Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee.

The PMMC, along­side Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife rep­re­sen­ta­tives, spent the past week record­ing and spray­ing an in­va­sive cac­tus species threat­en­ing to gain a foothold on sev­eral of the is­lands.

PMMC project man­ager Jo Kuiper said West Lewis, East Lewis and Sam’s is­lands had been tar­geted, with other is­lands such as En­derby and Jar­man on the radar over the course of the project.

“There’s ac­tu­ally not much, only about 30 lo­ca­tions on the archipelago where we know it oc­curs,” she said.

“It is a low-level in­fes­ta­tion and that is the best and most cost-ef­fec­tive time to con­trol a weed out­break.

“It is fairly re­fresh­ing to know that when it comes to on-ground work, the agen­cies can get it done in a cost-ef­fec­tive and col­lab­o­ra­tive man­ner.”

The project in­volved walk­ing the beaches and fore­dunes of is­lands to spot the cac­tus. Plants were then cov­ered with a best-prac­tice chem­i­cal mix to kill them.

Ms Kuiper said the ro­bust na­ture of cac­tus meant there were spe­cific tech­niques in­volved in con­trol­ling it ad­e­quately.

“A 100 per cent sat­u­ra­tion of each plant is what we’re aim­ing for,” she said. “Each pad on a cac­tus can fall off and grow again so it is im­por­tant the chem­i­cal cov­ers the en­tirety of ev­ery pad so the cac­tus doesn’t half-die and then start grow­ing again.

Ms Kuiper said any­one who had spot­ted the cac­tus on the is­lands should con­tact info@pil­barames quite.com.au in­stead of try­ing to re­move it them­selves.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Pil­bara Mesquite Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee project man­ager Jo Kuiper sprays cacti on Sam's Is­land.

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