Invasive Grass Puts Cervantes Dunes at Risk

Pyp Grass smothering native flora in Cervantes before it was sprayed with herbicide
Pyp Grass smothering native flora in Cervantes before it was sprayed with herbicide

Have you noticed the dune vegetation taking on a bit of a pink tinge on the Cervantes Coast? The pink dye on the dunes indicates areas where spraying of Pyp Grass has commenced to eradicate this invasive weed from the Cervantes Coast.

The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council’s (NACC) Coastal and Marine Coordinator Dr Mic Payne said, “Pyp Grass (Ehrhata villosa) is a serious threat to our coastal dunes. Deliberately introduced from South Africa in the 1960’s for the purpose of binding sand, it is now one of the worst environmental weeds in Western Australia.

“Dunes infested with Pyp Grass are more susceptible to erosion caused by wind, waves and unmanaged pedestrian and 4WD access. “Our precious beaches, coastal infrastructure and lifestyle all rely on healthy dunes protected by native vegetation,” said Dr Payne.

Pyp grass2
A pink dye marks where Pyp Grass has been sprayed with herbicide.

The weed eradication work is part of the Cervantes Pyp Grass Management Plan which was commissioned by NACC, with support from Shire of Dandaragan, in 2012.

The herbicide spraying phase was completed at the end of March this year and follow-up spraying is planned to continue through May. Further applications are planned annually for the next 3-4 years.  The herbicide Verdict, which is being applied as part of these works, is safe for use in public areas and is not likely to be harmful if skin contact does occur.

 

 

Native vegetation has a greater chance to revegetate after Pyp Grass is removed.
Native vegetation has a greater chance to revegetate after Pyp Grass is removed.

Photo-monitoring will be used to track the progress of works and revegetation by native plants. NACC urges the community to please help fight Pyp Grass by keeping an eye out for further infestations.

For more information or to get involved in the project please contact Dr Mic Payne on 9938 0123 or [email protected] .

This project is supported by NACC, through funding from the Australian Government.

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