State NRM Program Community Grants - Mesquite Control on Nicholson Station
Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), a Weed of National Significance (WONS), currently infests approximately 16,000 hectares of pastoral land at the southern extremity of the Ord River Catchment Area. This projects aim is to continue control work of mesquite on Nicholson Station, and by doing so to protect the remainder of the Ord River catchment from the spread of mesquite.
As the infestation straddles the Nicholson River, which flows into the Ord River, it is vital that this weed’s spread is halted so as to protect the many vulnerable areas downstream which have high conservation values. Areas currently at risk from the spread of mesquite include a number of pastoral stations, the two Ramsar-listed wetland sites of Lake Argyle and Lake Kununurra, the Ord River Regeneration Reserve, and the World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park.
This project will follow up mechanical control of this weed as the removal of the adult trees and the agitation of surrounding soil by the bulldozer will result in many new germinations of mesquite, as will the 2012/13 wet season, given the existing see bank in these areas.
Follow-up surveillance and control work of mesquite will be carried out over the following years until such time as it has been successfully eradicated.
Two weeks were spent on the site in August checking on the results of the control work that was carried out over the 2012/13 wet season. The survey work was carried out on approximately 2,000ha of land and 798 trees were noted to have survived and were controlled from the ground on 1,438ha. Based on that survey work a control strategy for the coming wet season was put together along with a report for the landholder.
In February of 2014 wet season control work was carried out over five days. The program was carried out from the air on 16714ha. A total of 1,501 plants were controlled. This represents a reduction of 0f 75% of total trees controlled in this project compared with the initial amount of trees controlled at the program’s beginning in 2012.
State NRM Program Community Grants - Control and Containment of Bellyache Bush on Lake Kununurra
Ord Land and Water has had an existing weed control program on Lake Kununurra since 2003. It consists of 22 sites, most of which have been controlled with regular monitoring and removal of small weed germinations as they occur the only current activities. One site (site 12) has been part of the program since April 2008. It’s location at the top of the Lake Kununurra Ramsar site makes it of strategic importance for the potential spread of weeds. Initially the priority weed on site was leucaena but as that weed was reduced bellyache bush already in existence in limited numbers extended into the controlled area and now has become the major weed. As a consequence a bellyache bush program started in March of 2009. This project will provide funding to allow that control work to continue on site over the next 18 months.
It is likely that this work and other current bellyache bush control activities along the Ord River will become the subject of a partnership funding application to the Federal Government once the new CFOC funding process is established sometime in 2013.
Since 1st January 2013 control has been carried out on 50.3ha of land, a total of 445 hours spent over 26 trips. This controlled most of the post wet season growth in areas where previous control has been carried out and started the control process focussing on mature plants in new areas.
Further work was carried out mid season to tidy up on what was missed early in the year when most of the wet season growth was controlled. Work was then discontinued until late season rainfall events germinated new seedlings. These were subsequently controlled as they emerged.
Caring for Our Country - Integrating Weed Management in the Ord Catchment
Weeds in the east Kimberley require an integrated approach to successfully treat infestations. They pose a significant threat to productive land as well as important ecological habitat. Pastoralists recognise the need for strategic weed control across a landscape scale to combat the spread of declared weeds and Weeds of National Significance (WoNS).
This project will review individual Pastoral Management Plans with a focus on weed mapping to develop a catchment-wide weed map. In addition:
- An overarching Regional Integrated Invasive Weed Management Plan will be developed that takes into account existing station plans;
- Pastoralists will prioritise areas requiring control through local workshops, and
- On-ground control and monitoring will be carried out on those priority areas.
Other work carried out in locations within the Ord Catchment such as the DEC estate, Indigenous land and UCL will be included into the mapping process to provide stakeholders with an overall picture of weed distribution and management within the catchment.
Objective 1: Maps developed
Weed maps for the Ord Catchment (109,000 km2) have been developed to a level that they can be used as a decision making tool. However the mapping process will continue for the life of this project to further refine and update the information.
The mapping data collected was converted to ESRI shape files and labelled according to species and location. The data was sent out to relevant organisations for use. Examples being the National Bellyache Bush Coordinator for the purpose of mapping bellyache bush distribution at a national level, Rangelands WA and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Objective 2: Planning processes implemented
A series of ‘one on one’ sessions were held with pastoralists at the time information was being collated on their property and one more after collation to identify and prioritise the weed threats that this project could address with current resources.From this process the following priorities were agreed to –
- Mesquite control on Nicholson Station.
- Sicklepod senna control on Argyle Downs.
- Noogoora burr control on Sturt Creek.
- Bellyache bush control in the Ord River Irrigation Area.
- Developing best control practices for rubber bush.
Additional funding was also sought from a number of sources to better resource the control and surveillance work required.
Objective 3: Control program implemented
- Control and survey work was completed in 2012 and 2013/14 on the 17,600ha area of mesquite on Nicholson Station.
- Control work was completed on 24ha of sicklepod senna on Argyle Downs.
- Control work was completed on 17ha of Bellyache bush in the ORIA.
- An efficacy/best practice guide for the control of rubber bush was developed.
Caring for Our Country – Community Management Planning for Invasive Species in the Ord River Floodplain
This project will address invasive weeds and feral animals in buffer zones of the Lower Ord Floodplain Ramsar Site. It is comprised of two project areas as follows:
Community Management Planning
The Project Manager will collaborate with community members through a series of one on one meeting and workshops to develop a Weeds and Feral Animal Community Management Plan and prioritise strategies.
Engagement of landholders in the development and the implementation of an invasive species management plan for the area will ensure increased NRM capacity within the region. Activities to undertake include:
1. Initiating property mapping exercises to locate weeds and feral animal species.
2. Initiating management strategies on properties around the Ramsar buffer zone in partnership with landholders.
3. Workshops to confirm priorities based on work done in year 1.
4. Further implementation of control plans on properties and the buffer area in partnership with landholders, and one-on-one contacts.
Acacia nilotica and Mimosa pigra Management Plan
Infestations of Mimosa pigra and Acacia nilotica will be mapped to determine size and appropriate control measures. Traditional Owners and DAFWA will be engaged to undertake on-site control activities and provide monitoring expertise. Traditional Owners will document changes to vegetation assemblage and impact on cultural activities, which will be integrated into a Management Plan.
Objective 1: Workshops to develop plans
One workshop held with Crossing Falls community after mapping process to plan feral animal control, strong request from the community was that only trapping be employed and that they kept updated with the program off property. Ongoing communications with workshop participants on a one-on-one basis has continued.
One workshop was held on Riverfarm Road after mapping process to prioritise a work plan that will feed into the management of the area, a significant majority of the landholders attended the meeting.
One workshop was held with Traditional Owners of Nulla-Nulla to discuss weed management plan and record impacts of the weed on cultural practices.
A template was developed with input from DoW and DEC to assist with the removal of weeds from UCL between the river and properties on Riverfarm Road. This work was required prior to any work within that area been carried out.
Objective 2: Development and implementation of management plan
Landholders are currently engaged in an ongoing basis in locating and mapping of weed infestations Feral animal trap development and location of animals. Management Plans have been developed for the weeds Acacia nilotica and Mimosa pigra and for pig control.
Objective 3: Property mapping
Mapping of feral animals and weeds has been completed and used in workshops to assist in determining priorities. Full distribution maps have been completed for Acacia nilotica and feral pigs. A draft distribution map has been developed for Mimosa pigra however more information needs to be inputted as there is a suspicion that there are some plants still undetected.
Data was utilised in Rangelands Project number PJ110601 as part of the regional weed map.
Objective 4: Initiating Management Strategies
The following management strategies on properties have been implemented.
- 5,041 ha of Acacia nilotica controlled in 2010.
- 7,252 ha of Acacia nilotica controlled in 2011.
- 14824 ha of Acacia nilotica controlled in 2012.
- 144ha of Acacia nilotica controlled to date in 2012 in partnership with Ballengarra Ranger group.
- 19,685 ha surveyed for Acacia nilotica in 2010.
- 9,399ha surveyed for Acacia nilotica in 2011.
- 19,716ha surveyed for Acacia nilotica in 2012.
- 1 ha of Mimosa pigra controlled in 2010 .
- No control of Mimosa pigra carried in 2011 as water levels were too high for a germination.
- 1 ha of Mimosa pigra controlled in 2012.
- 4,466ha surveyed for Mimosa pigra in 2010.
- 4,391ha surveyed for Mimosa pigra in 2011.
- 4,531 surveyed for Mimosa pigra in 2012.
- Pig trapping put on hold until wet season.
Objective 5: Workshops to confirm priorities.
One workshop was held with Crossing Falls residents to confirm feral animal trapping priorities in 20011
One workshop was held with Traditional Owners, KLC and Ballengarra Ranger Group to confirm Management Plan Priorities.
Acacia nilotica Management Plan [970KB pdf] [download]
Mimosa pigra Management Plan 2.4MB pdf] [download]
Community Action Grants – Community Weed Management Initiative for Invasive Species at Lake Argyle
Project summaryThe Lake Argyle community is a first port of call for visitors entering Western Australia. As a consequence it is subject to significant outside weed pressure including both weeds of national significance declared species. This project will work with the community to develop and implement a weed management plan for the location and an educational strategy targeting visitors. It will focus on subsequent germinations and removing the risk of the movement of seed by water downstream to adjoining Ramsar sites. The project will also develop written material for distribution to visitors about weed identification and general travelling hygiene.
AchievementsA Weed Management Plan for Lake Argyle Village developed in collaboration with the major landholder in the village so weed control could continue after project completion. Control of bellyache bush and other weeds such as leucaena and neem was successfully undertaken in the management area. Weed identification brochures were printed and distributed.
National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality - Key Management Actions for Lake Kununurra
This project has significantly extended the weed work done on Lake Kununurra from the initial six sites covering 20 hectares prior to the project to 19 sites covering 1,640 hectares by its end.
In the three years of project work 963 of the 1,615 project hectares has had control activities carried out on them. The work has included up to three passes over some of the sites to remove all seeding plants initially and follow up work to remove new germinations of plants. As a result five of the 19 sites are now just monitored for weed regrowth a couple of times a year and controlled as required, a further three sites have some sections that are in a similar position and monitored and controlled accordingly.
In this time weeding techniques were refined to suit the target weeds and the climate; this included the following actions –
- The initial control work concentrated on killing adult trees to stop any further seed production on the site, subsequent control work done in the following seasons focused on killing seedlings and juvenile plants as they grew to a height they could be detected.
- Hard to kill plants such as leucaena and moringa were sprayed carefully to reduce regrowth and checked three months later to ensure all plants had died.
- Control work continued throughout the wet season to get on top of seed germination at the seedling stage. This was the single most effective strategy employed, however operators need to be cautious of heat exhaustion issues and take preventative measures
- Revegetation by means of replanting proved to be not necessary due to the vigorous nature of native regrowth.
Mapping gave an indication of the spread of weeds on the lake, what weeds were spreading the quickest and what ones were capable of completely displacing native bushland given enough time. This enabled the target weeds to be prioritised accordingly –
- High priority weeds: Salvinia, neem, leucaena and fruit trees (Mangoes, date palm, pawpaw).
- Medium priority weeds: Parkinsonia. Bellyache bush, moringa and coral vine.
- Low priority weeds: Garden Plants (Rain trees, carpentaria palms, poinciana, golden shower).
Revegetation and monitoring sites have been set up as a part of this and other Ord Land and Water projects, this work will be maintained into the future with ongoing projects.
Finally the project culled feral cattle from areas on the lake where their numbers were starting to have an impact on native vegetation through the spread of weeds and trampling.