Media Release: Council to protect Rainbow's Pandanus Palms
Gympie Regional Council staff are taking measures to protect Rainbow Beach’s Pandanus Palms with the rollout of the 2019 Leaf Hopper Integrated Pest Management Strategy.
The Pandanus Palm performs the vital task of protecting Rainbow Beach’s sand dunes from erosion, as well as adding to the aesthetic of the beach itself.
A number of Pandanus Palms in the region and beyond were affected by Cyclone Debbie as well as the Pandanus Leaf Hopper (Jamella australiae), an insect which causes dieback resulting in limb drop and death of the tree.
Council are employing several techniques to ensure the palm’s survival, such as leaf stripping which assists in the recovery of the plant by removing dead leaves and maintaining the current population of a tiny parasitic wasp which are a natural predator of the Leaf Hopper.
The wasps also lay their eggs in the Leaf Hopper egg raft.
Council will also be transplanting healthy juvenile plants from nearby parks where thinning is required as soon as weather conditions improve.
Mapping and tagging of Pandanus in the affected areas is also being carried out.
Recently, to support ongoing Pandanus regeneration, Council staff collected seeds from existing Pandanus to assist in developing future propagation programs for this iconic species to support dune revegetation programs.