Parks Victoria and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute are in a fight to prevent a “weed-like” plant spreading throughout Grampians National Park.
Rapidly spreading native plant species the sallow wattle is proving dangerous to the biodiversity of the national park, threatening the survival of other important native species in the Grampians.
“One of the reasons the Grampians National Park is on the National Heritage list is its amazing diversity of plants. People don’t go to the Grampians to see a wall of wattle,” Grampians environment and heritage team leader Mike Stevens said.
“This park has great cultural and environmental significance which is suffering from a massive weed problem. We are using science and data to find the most effective treatment for the problem.”
Treatments including brush-cutting, manual removal, mulching and two types of herbicide have been used to control the weed, with mulching proving most effective at this stage. Further analysis is being undertaken to determine a long term solution.
“Science, research and monitoring are important for measuring results of conservation actions and informing decision-making into the future,” said Mr Stevens.
Despite being native to Australia, the Sallow wattle emerged as a significant problem in the Grampians following the 1999 Mt Difficult bushfire, which was a catalyst for the plant’s rapid spread in the park.
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