Lifestyle

Sisal hemp to be torn out of national parks

Sisal hemp.
Sisal hemp.

IT looks great in gardens but it's wreaking havoc in the Rockhampton region.

Sisal hemp, a long-leaf agave from Mexico, is in for the fight of its life as environmental workers press ahead with its eradication from national parks.

The weed is one of the top five enemies of native animals and plants in the area.

The others are rubber vine, buffel grass, pond pasture plant, olive hymenachne and cat's claw.

QPWS senior ranger Barry Nolan said Mt Archer was the key battleground against the pest.

"A program to control sisal, a garden escapee, has successfully reduced the area of infestation of this weed although there is still a way to go before it will be eradicated from the national park," Mr Nolan said.

"Steep terrain makes this work extremely demanding and costly as considerable effort is required just to get the chemicals and equipment to the infestation area.

"Follow-up work is required six to 12 months after each year's control actions are completed."

Mr Nolan said he hoped the region would bounce back from an infestation of rubber vine.

"Current control options include a range of techniques such as mechanical control, application of chemical herbicides, biocontrol agents and the planned use of prescribed burning," he said.

"Most control actions require implementation by staff on foot in order to maximise outcomes."

 

TOP THREATS

Rubber vine: Rapid spreading vine that drastically takes over the native flora.

Buffel grass: Deep-rooted summer loving tussocky grass.

Cats claw creeper: Grows along streams and creeks.

Olive hymenachne: Pond-borne grass, which threatens pastures and native flora.

Sisal hemp: Succulent that escapes from gardens.

Source: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

Topics:  gardening, national parks




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