Mound Springs protection expanded
Feral animals that threaten the sensitive mound springs and associated riparian ecosystems will be targeted as part of a board project to protect the culturally and environmentally significant landscapes.
To protect the springs and prevent erosion caused by feral animal species, aerial surveys and controls will be undertaken early in 2024, targeting donkeys, camels and pigs that pose a serious threat to the sensitive Lake Eyre Basin (LEB) environment.
The project will also focus on preventing further spread of the declared weed species African rue (Peganum harmala). African rue is highly unpalatable to sheep and cattle and is a plant that slowly invades and can expand to become large infestations. At high density it inhibits both germination and growth of native plants and once established is very difficult and expensive to remove.
Data provided to the board by pastoral land managers has heightened concern about these pest species, last targeted in November 2022 and March 2023 as part of this project. Previous aerial control programs were supported by Department for Environment and Water marksmen, who removed almost 1,000 feral animals from the North Flinders and the Channel Country of the Marree-Innamincka district.
The upcoming control works will target properties to the western side of Lake Eyre, in the Marla Oodnadatta district.
As part of the control work, it is hoped that samples will be captured to allow for continued surveillance of diseases and the storing of DNA for future studies and understanding of feral species populations in remote parts of Outback South Australia.
The work is occurring as part of the SA Lake Eyre Basin Priority Riparian Vegetation and Great Artesian Basin Springs Project which is an initiative of the Lake Eyre Basin Program, funded by the Australian, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory Governments and BHP.