Pumping the Brakes on Pyp Grass

Last Month’s Photomon snaps boasted positive results of revegetation next to the Irwin Estuary, following removal of African Boxthorn. This month we ventured out to Jurien Bay and Cervantes to see how some of our Pyp Grass control sites were going.

Pyp Grass was originally introduced from South Africa to help stabilise dunes but unfortunately it is very invasive and has become the dominant species in infested areas. In addition to this, Pyp Grass is shallow rooted meaning it doesn’t stabilise dunes nearly as well as native species do.

In 2012, NACC NRM commissioned the Cervantes Pyp Grass Management Plan and adapted a similar plan for Jurien Bay in 2014. These plans enabled NACC NRM, partnering with the Jurien Bay Regional Herbarium Group (JBRHG), Cervantes Coastcare, Shire of Dandaragan and Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions to undertake annual spraying up until 2018.  A management plan was also developed for Guilderton in 2016.

The first pair of photos capture a control site situated on the Jurien Bay foreshore, with the second pair of photos taken at a site in Cervantes.

Before and after shots of the Jurien Bay site.
Progress shots of the Cervantes site.

In NRM we often talk about weeds reducing biodiversity and here you have this concept neatly captured in two pairs of photos. With the Pyp Grass removed, the native vegetation has re-asserted itself (albeit with a few minor weeds making an appearance) and the dunes are back in the black.

But wait, there’s more…

Pyp Grass is an insidious weed and unfortunately NACC NRM was unable to remove it in its entirety. The Jurien Bay Regional Herbarium, with funding support from the Shire of Dandaragan, is continuing to chip away at any Pyp Grass remnants at these sites.

A huge thank you goes out to both sides of this partnership, and a special shout out to JBRHG member Alanna Smith for keeping up with the photo monitoring.

Mic Payne & Tegan Knowles – Coastcare Support Officers

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