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Weed control in the Coorong takes off

News release
16 April 2020

African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) poses a persistent threat to the sensitive environment throughout the Coorong area.

Natural Resources South East Our Coorong | Our Coast Project Coordinator Julie Palmer said the team will be taking to the skies again this year, in an effort to control this Weed of National Significance.

“The treatment, via helicopter, involves applying a measured dose of herbicide to individual Boxthorn bushes,” Julie said.

“Compared to on ground treatment, aerial control is efficient and cost effective.”

“Controlling Boxthorn from the helicopter also means that we can treat 26,000 hectares of difficult to access terrain that we wouldn’t be able to reach manually.”

The Coorong and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar Wetland is one of Australia’s most important wetland areas, due to its diversity of ecological features. Funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the pest plant control program aims to protect this fragile environment.

“This area is home to internationally significant migratory birds and endangered resident beach nesting birds,” Julie said.

“The impact of invasive pest plants like Boxthorn can be disastrous to their fragile coastal habitats.”

Left untreated, Boxthorn can severely alter habitat by outcompeting native vegetation, and harbouring pest animals such as rabbits and foxes. The aerial treatment is very precise and has minimal impact to surrounding native plants and animals.

“Pest plant control in the area is one of the key steps we’re taking towards preserving the environmental values of the Coorong.

“We are looking to work with landholders neighbouring Coorong National Park, to expand the program and improve its effectiveness.”

To find out more about the Boxthorn control program, and how to get involved, contact Project Coordinator Julie Palmer or 0467 739 211.

This project is supported by the South East Natural Resources Management Board, though funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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