Aerial toolkit changes how boxthorn is controlled

News article |

An aerial trial to control boxthorns along coastal areas of southern Yorke Peninsula has changed the way the invasive pest plant will be managed in the future.

More than 19,000 boxthorn plants were treated on eighty-eight properties in two weeks, with a third of the work done on Wardang Island where the highest infestations were recorded.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Sustainable Landscapes Ranger Jasmine Swales said that it can take more than a day to treat one hectare of heavily infested land using traditional ground control techniques. But in the two-week trial, 7320 hectares of public, private and council lands had been treated.

“Aerial control means that we can work at a landscape scale rather than just focussing at an individual property scale, and that means much better value for money,” Ms Swales said.

“It’s no silver bullet and isn’t suitable for all situations, but this approach is especially good for coastal areas with low open vegetation.”

Under the NRM Act 2004, landholders have a legal responsibility to control African boxthorn, a declared plant and a Weed of National Significance, on their land. But it has become widespread across the peninsula and offshore islands, and is difficult and expensive to control.

“Most of the landholders we worked with are willing do the on-ground follow up required under Land Management Agreements that are in place for each property involved in the trial,” Ms Swales said.

“They understand this will be essential to maintain and build on the initial control effort.”

NRNY officers will continue to work with landholders to manage priority weeds across Yorke Peninsula.

“By working together with landowners across property boundaries we can make a real difference,” Ms Swales said.

Funding for the boxthorn control trial is provided by the Australian Government.

If you are interested in working with NRNY during the next stage of the project, or would like more information, contact Jasmine Swales on 0429 150 986 or ring the Natural Resources Centre Clare on 08 8841 3444.

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