Department of Parks adn Wildlife
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Weed removal success in the west Kimberley

 Trevor Brown and Wayne Lloyd cutting down calotropis plants and applying chemicals to the stumps
Trevor Brown and Wayne Lloyd cutting down calotropis plants and applying chemicals to the stumps

Department of Parks and Wildlife staff recently carried out work to eradicate a fast spreading weed threatening native animals and plants in King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park, 240km north-east of Derby.

Parks and Wildlife conservation officer Allan Bennett along with four conservation employees who travelled from the south-west of WA spent two weeks treating more than 3500 calotropis (Calotropis procera) plants in the Millie Windie valley, an area of significant conservation value. The plant is a medium-sized shrub or small tree which can grow to 4m tall.

“The team was also joined by the Bunuba rangers, traditional owners of the area, who have been working with the department to remove calotropis over several years which outcompetes native plants for sunlight, water and nutrients, which means infestations have resulted in less viable habitat for native animals,” said Mr Bennett.

“We applied chemicals to smaller plants by foliar spray while larger plants were cut down to ground level and immediately sprayed at the stump, with many of the plants showing signs of decline within a week of treatment.

“Large calotropis infestations were also recorded and mapped which will greatly assist us with planning for future weed control works in the area.”

The team also removed 10km of abandoned cattle fencing.

“We were able to remove over three times the amount of fencing that was originally anticipated, which will greatly reduce the possibility of further deaths of native animals such as birds and wallabies caused by barbed wire,” Mr Bennett said.

“Parks and Wildlife will continue to work with neighbouring stations on the removal of unmanaged cattle that are often seen grazing in large numbers within the park. Unmanaged cattle cause a number of negative impacts on the environment including soil degradation, erosion and trampling of vegetation.”

The $28,000 project was funded through Parks and Wildlife’s Remote Regions Nature Conservation Program which assists remote regions to carry out priority conservation, park infrastructure and good neighbour projects. It also offers opportunities for conservation employees from the south-west to work in different parts of the State.

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 14:35