Buffel grass

What is buffel grass?

Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris and Cenchrus pennisetiformis), or mamu tjanpi/tjanpi kura (devil grass/bad grass) is an introduced perennial tussock grass species that has emerged as a significant threat to the culture and safety of remote communities in the region

Buffel grass is widely recognised as one of the most serious environmental threats to the range lands of Australia. It is very hardy and capable of destroying Australian ecosystems and threatening many plant and animal species with extinction. It invades landscapes rapidly, competes against native grasses and shrubs and threatens woodlands, communities and infrastructure with dangerous fires. Heavy infestations also prevent traditional hunting, foraging and cultural activities.

What is being done?

The South Australian Buffel Grass Strategic Plan 2019- 2024 identifies the need for two approaches to buffel grass management in the region:

  • APY Lands – targeted management of key sites
  • Maralinga Lands, Nullarbor and Yellabinna – destroy infestations.

The Alinytjara Wilurara Buffel Grass Operational Strategy 2018-2023 (which remains relevant under the AW Landscape Board) aims to implement an effective buffel grass eradication and control program in the AW region and provide direction to AW staff and Land Holding Authorities in relation to key priorities. This strategy will assist the AW region to fulfil its vision of healthy people and communities working together to protect culture and country.

The Alinytjara Wilurara Buffel Grass Best Practice Management Guide 2018 was developed following the strategic actions outlined in the operational strategy. This best practice management guide is for AW staff and other land managers who need to know the best management methods to use in managing buffel grass in the AW region.

A buffel grass control program has been implemented for several years in the southern part of the AW region, with a particular focus on the Oak Valley community, the Eyre Highway and the railway line from Ooldea to Malbooma.

Control is undertaken using a variety of techniques, including applying herbicide, manual removal and burning with follow-up treatment.

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