Plant pest found at Lake Moananui

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The in­va­sive pest plant pur­ple looses­trife has been dis­cov­ered in the Waikato for the first time at Lake Moananui, near Toko­roa.

A re­gional coun­cil con­trac­tor con­firmed a sin­gle plant sighted was pur­ple looses­trife af­ter it was dis­cov­ered by a res­i­dent out for a walk.

Un­der the re­gion’s pest man­age­ment strat­egy pur­ple looses­trife is classed as a po­ten­tial pest and the plant was re­moved promptly.

Biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Wendy Mead said it was un­clear how the weed was brought into the re­gion.

‘‘It has pos­si­bly hitch­hiked from an­other re­gion as seed on a kayak.

‘‘This high­lights the im­por­tance of clean­ing boats and other water equip­ment, such as fish­ing gear, when mov­ing from one wa­ter­way to an­other. This helps avoid spread­ing se­ri­ous plant and other pests, in­clud­ing didymo which is not present in the North Is­land.

‘‘The dis­cov­ery also high­lights how the re­gion is al­ways prone to new in­fes­ta­tions of plant pests and we ask the pub­lic to re­main vig­i­lant for any­thing that looks out of place.’’

Pur­ple looses­trife is a tall peren­nial herb. It has pur­ple flow­er­head spikes over the sum­mer months.

It rapidly in­vades damp ground and shal­low water, form­ing mas­sive, thick stands that shade out smaller plants. It de­stroys wet­lands and water mar­gins, caus­ing block­ages and flood­ing, and re­moves food sources for fish and birds. It pro­duces mil­lions of seeds which are spread by water, con­tam­i­nated ma­chin­ery, soil, live­stock and hay.

If peo­ple think they have seen this pest phone 0800 BIOSEC (246732).

IN­VA­SIVE: The pur­ple looses­trife plant has been dis­cov­ered at Lake Moananui.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.