Where did all the Pyp Grass go?

If you have noticed a lot of dead grass in the foredunes at Jurien Bay and Cervantes you are seeing the results of a very successful weed control program!

Pyp Grass (Ehrharta villosa) has unfortunately covered areas of our precious dune systems since it was introduced as a sand stabiliser many years ago.

Coastal Pigface Carpobrotus virescens emerging from dead Pyp Grass.
Coastal Pigface Carpobrotus virescens
emerging from dead Pyp Grass.

Now, thanks to ongoing management by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC), community volunteers and thorough work by employees from Western Botanical, the tables have turned.

Spraying efforts using selective herbicides to minimise damage to our native plants have been very effective and have given the dunes a new lease of life.

Many species of native plants have emerged from beneath the dead Pyp Grass over the summer, which NACC’s Coastal and Marine Project Officer Hamish Longbottom said was providing much needed food and habitat for our native animals.

“This is a great outcome for the program. We can now focus on targeting a much smaller number of (Pyp Grass) plants, revegetate areas and letting native plants regenerate without competition from the weed,” he said.

Western Botanical will be back in Jurien Bay and Cervantes later in the month to trial a weed wiping method which NACC hopes will prove to be as effective, but a safer and easier method for local Coastcarers to adopt.

“Knocking out the bulk of the Pyp Grass is fantastic but we need to remain vigilant as a community and not let these weeds overrun our natural areas in future,” Mr Longbottom said.

“Volunteers from the Jurien Bay Regional Herbarium Group and Cervantes Coastcare Group have been a critical part of the success of this project.”

Visit the Pyp Grass control program page for more information about projects in Jurien Bay and Cervantes. To get involved in volunteering with a local Coastcare group contact NACC Coastal and Marine Project Officer Hamish Longbottom on 9652 0872 or 0448 459 127.

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