Weeds and Pest Animals
What is the current condition of weeds and pest animals and how is that trending?
In order to assess the current condition and trend of weeds and pest animals and their management in the region, the following questions were taken into consideration:
- what infrastructure do we have in place that acts as a barrier or transport vector for weed and pest animal species?
- what are the existing priority weeds and pest animals and what are the trends in their population and management?
- what are the emerging or alert weeds and pest animals threatening our region?
- what are the tools we are using to measure condition and trend and how effective are they?
- what are the gaps in condition and trend information?
The figure below identifies the current infrastructure in the Border Rivers and Maranoa-Balonne region that has an impact on weeds and pest animal densities and movement, including:
- state borders,
- regional Council boundaries,
- catchment boundaries,
- stock routes,
- wild dog barrier fence,
- rabbit barrier fence, and
- public vehicle clean-down facilities.
Other infrastructure that could be added is the railway network, major power lines and coal seam gas infrastructure.
Weeds and pest animals impacting infrastructure
Priority weeds and pest animals
An action identified in the previous Regional NRM Plan was to develop a transparent and scientific process for identifying priority and emerging weeds and pest animals and generate a list of the current priorities for both the Maranoa-Balonne and Border Rivers Catchments. This process and lists were developed in 2007 and the lists (available online http://www.qmdc.org.au/publications/download/2128/fact-sheets-case-studies/weeds-pests/weeds_regional-priority_alert-list-br-mb_may2014.pdf) formed the basis of this condition and trend assessment (AEC Group 2007; QMDC 2014e).
The following species that made the priority lists for both catchments have been assessed for condition and trend. The assessment process was a quick ‘snapshot’ style approach designed to gather information quickly on a range of species. Species still to be reviewed are detailed at the end of each table. The range of responses is recorded for each species.
Priority weeds and pests’ condition and trend
Other species that are considered priorities in both catchments that require a review of condition and trend are:
Other priority pest species
Current priority weed and pest animal lists relevant to the Border Rivers and Maranoa-Balonne are contained within:
- Local Government Pest Management Plans,
- management plans for State owned lands, (including National Parks and State Forests),
- management plans for land areas under lease or owned by oil and gas companies.
A future action to collate and cross-reference lists and associated condition and trend information would give a greater insight into the state of weed and pest animal threats in the region.
Emerging or alert species
The alert species lists for the Maranoa-Balonne and Border Rivers, developed as part of the AEC group process in 2007, were presented as the basis for review of the NRM Plan, however, technical panel members raised concern as to the validity of some of the species on the list. An emerging weed threats map developed by QMDC in 2010 was preferred as the basis for review, and an updated version produced – see Figure 14. New weed threats identified for the region and included on the updated map include:
- Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta),
- tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum),
- Chilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana),
- lantana (Lantana camara).
It was also noted that Karoo thorn, (Acacia karroo), is a new species found in one isolated outbreak in the Border Rivers catchment in 2008. The outbreak is being monitored and is not expected to spread.
Developing a similar map for emerging or alert pest animal species was identified as a priority action for the area. Other information about emerging pests identified as useful but not currently available is maps of deer and Indian myna distribution and extent throughout the region.
Emerging weed threats in the NRM Plan region (Hunter 2015)
QMDC has created an interactive version of this map of the region’s weed threats, and as a bonus, added in a layer for all of the available public washdown facilities. You can view it via ArcGIS by clicking here.