This pesky weed is hard to stamp out.
But the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), along with the NACC team, are getting the job done, as the African Boxthorn, a Weed of National Significance (WoNS), continues to pinch our coastline.
African Boxthorn impacts significantly on biodiversity, and is an aggressive invader of native vegetation as it forms an impenetrable spiny thicket that inhibits the movement of native fauna – including roosting and nesting birds and Sea-Lions on islands.
After notification by community members, Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) staff carrying out nature reserve inspections and from historic records, the Weed of National Significance (WoNS) African Boxthorn has been found to inhabit some southern islands in the NAR including the Beagle Islands, Milligan and Lipfert Islands.
The hard yards
The DPaW Moora District have been working toward a successful control plan for the eradication of boxthorn from Jurien Bay Marine Park Islands and other island nature reserves.
The program has included the removal of boxthorn from Boullanger Island, and a large project with DPaW staff engaging volunteers from local communities to remove boxthorn from the Beagle Islands (north west of Leeman), with follow-up work planned for the 2015-16 financial year.
Last week, DPaW commenced their Control Program on Lipfert Island, successfully removing more than 200 plants, and plan to eradicate the Weed of National Significance from nearby Milligan Island in the near future.
Boxing it out… continued
Annual monitoring will be undertaken to keep watch on any new infestations, and to record natural rehabilitation of native species assisted by the control program.
Community monitoring is encouraged along the southern NAR coastline to make sure boxthorn infestations don’t take a hold along the coast.
Sightings can be reported to the DPaW Moora District Office at Jurien Bay on 9688 6000 or NACC’s Coastal and Marine Project Officer in the south on 9652 0872.
A number of organisations undertake boxthorn control in the Northern Agricultural Region including NACC, local and state government authorities and community groups.
The need for a coordinated approach has led NACC to initiate the development of a regional strategy for boxthorn control. This will guide investment in boxthorn removal from priority areas and ensure the best outcome. Stay tuned for more on this strategy soon.