Pyp off our dunes!

The end is near for one of the region’s most pesky plants, Pyp grass, an invasive species commonly found in Jurien Bay and Cervantes.

The pest plant has long been a silent invader of coastal dune systems in the NACC NRM region, where it has been threatening to dominate our unique flora which has important ecological, cultural and tourism values.

Control works undertaken in NACC’s Pyp Grass Management Program are now starting to pay-off with several sites entering a final eradication phase.

Pyp grass control success at Cervantes
Pyp grass control success at Cervantes

Speaking at a recent meeting with the Moora District Threatened Flora Recovery Team, NACC Coastal Marine Project Manager Hamish Longbottom said a lot has been achieved, including by doing very little.

“While we have the grass contained in many areas, it is very important not to help spread it. For example, poorly planned earthmoving can help this weed spread around our townships and beyond in a very short space of time,” he said.

Shallow-rooted Pyp grass changes the structure of our coastal sand-dunes – making them less resilient to coastal erosion which can damage our coastal environment, housing and infrastructure.

NACC’s Photomon app has been used to monitor the recovery of native plants after Pyp grass control. Click here to view an example.

“If left unchecked, Pyp grass has the potential to spread into our sensitive parks and reserves, where it is costly and difficult to undertake control,” said Hamish. “As a community, we need to understand the impact that pest plants can have on our natural environment and local economy.”

Contractors have recently completed control works in Jurien Bay and Cervantes, and plans are afoot to extend the program into Guilderton this spring.

NACC acknowledges the support from the Shire of Dandaragan, Department of Parks and Wildlife, and community volunteers in this program.

To learn about where Pyp grass is currently being controlled, visit NACC’s information page.

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