Weeds and pest animal control
Call to arms in the fight against Giant Rats Tail
Gympie Regional Council is taking a collaborative approach in its attempt to manage the wide-scale spread of Giant Rats Tail grass throughout the region and is calling on local property owners to report sightings of endemic pathogens that could be used in the weed’s biological control.
Council is particularly keen to know of any incidents in the region where naturalised South African Giant Rats Tail leaf smut (Ustilago sporoboli-indici) is infecting the shoots of Giants Rats Tail (GRT) grass.
Research has shown that the smut renders the GRT plant almost sterile. The leaf smut has been found in several Queensland regional areas and has the potential to be used in the weed’s biological control.
Field surveys of endemic pathogens – which is just a fancy way of saying locally-found fungus – have also been undertaken with almost 60 different types of fungi having been prioritised as potential bio-controls for GRT.
Testing of five of these new pathogens is very encouraging as they are damaging and, in some cases, killing Giant Rats Tail seedlings, with one species directly affecting the root system.
To support this work, Council is asking landholders to let Council know of any potential occurrence of the leaf smut on Giant Rats Tail plants.
If you see any incidents of fungus – especially leaf smut – on GRT grass, please take a photo and email it to email@example.com along with the suburb in which it was seen and a contact phone number.
For more information, contact Council's environmental planning team on 1300 307 800.
Pest animal control
Feral pig issues
The potential for pig populations to rapidly increase in good seasons, combined with the pig’s omnivorous feeding behaviour, has resulted in most agricultural industries being affected by pig damage. Pigs will feed on all types of seed, grain, fruit and vegetable crops.
Grazing industries are affected by predation on young stock, damage to pasture by grazing and rooting, or damage to fences and watering facilities.
Feral pig damage in Queensland is estimated to be tens of millions of dollars annually.
You can report your feral animal issue to the Council's Lands Protection Team on 1300 307 800. Various management options are available depending on your location, issue and eligibility. What options best suit you and your needs is best discussed directly with a Council officer.
Controlling Indian Mynas
The Indian myna is not native to Australia. They are territorial birds and are aggressive towards our native wildlife. These birds are a growing problem for our region, and across Australia.
To reduce the population of Indian mynas in our region, we are asking our community to:
- Support habitat for our native wildlife
- Dense gardens full of native plants create wonderful homes for many species of native wildlife.
- Avoid leaving food outside
- Even food left for other animals, including your cat, can attract the Indian myna,,so please avoid leaving any food outside.
- Assist with the humane trapping of Indian mynas
- Council and Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee (MRCCC) have a number of Indian myna traps available for loan to Gympie landholders. Click here to find out how you can be involved.
Mary River Turtle (MRT) Recovery Plan
Council's Lands Protection Team is working with the Tiaro District Landcare volunteers to reduce predatory impacts on Mary River Turtle nests as part of the Mary River Turtle (MRT) Recovery Plan.
Mary River turtles lay their eggs in clutches in the sand banks of the river around September to February.
Nest predators such as wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs, feral cats and goannas are recognised as the biggest threat to the population of this endangered species. Cattle trampling nests is also a significant problem.
For several years now, Council's Lands Protection Team has undertaken a predator population reduction program. The program aims to reduce predator numbers leading up to turtle nesting season and maintain low levels of predators during nesting season.
This project has been extremely successful with a marked decrease in MRT nest predation recorded since the introduction of the program.
Local community participation has been invaluable and Council intends to continue this work as an annual program.
External funding has been sought and will continue to be sought in the future.
Weeds threaten Queensland's primary industries, natural environment, livestock, human health and people's livelihoods.
Under Queensland law, landowners, including state and local governments, are responsible for controlling declared weeds on their property.
Please refer to the list of resources below which may help with weed identification, control and management, and offer native alternatives.
Outlaw, wanted dead, not alive
A new infestation of Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), a significant invasive water weed, has recently been identified within the Mary River.
Water lettuce is a free-floating aquatic weed which resembles a small, open head of lettuce. The fan-shaped leaves are pale green, spongy, covered in hairs, have marked parallel veins, and form a floating rosette.
The weed grows aggressively and can form dense, floating mats that restrict water movement and reduce water quality.
The risk to landholders is that Water Lettuce can spread into your area of responsibility – dams, lagoons, gullies and water courses fenced into your property. Council requires actions that will eradicate this weed.
Please be vigilant in checking your internal water bodies for the presence of Water Lettuce. If you think you may have Water Lettuce, please take action to immediately remove and appropriately destroy the weed. Please call Council on 1300 307 800 if you require water weed management advice.
6 Mile Creek - Cat's Claw Creeper Survey and Control Program
Council and the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee have partnered to undertake a Cat's Claw Creeper survey and control program for the Six Mile Creek Catchment, between Traveston and Glanmire.
Cat's Claw Creeper is an aggressive and invasive vine that can completely smother native vegetation.
Council will also undertake ground inspections of the vine in flower and use drone footage.
Once the survey is complete, control works will commence, and the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee will contact property owners to arrange suitable access.
There will be no cost to the landowner during this process.
Please contact Council on 1300 307 800 for more information.
Giant Rats Tail Grass Forum
Council’s Giant Rats Tail Grass forum was held on Tuesday 27 February 2018 and brought some of the world’s industry leaders in pasture weeds to the Civic Centre to give guidance on managing this weed.
About Professor Brent Sellers:
Professor Sellers is an Associate Professor and Extension Weed Specialist in the Agronomy Department of the University of Florida-IFAS, and is the Associate Center Director of the Range Cattle Research & Education Center in Ona, FL. He received a B.S. degree in Biology and M.S. degree in Botany and Plant Pathology from Purdue University in 1995 and 1999, respectively. Dr. Sellers completed his Ph.D. in Agronomy at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2003. He has been employed as a faculty member in Agronomy located at the Range Cattle Research & Education Center since 2004. His research and extension program includes management of native and non-native weed species in pastures, rangeland, rights-of-way, and natural areas. Dr. Sellers has trained 1 Ph.D. student and 4 M.S. students, and is currently advising a Ph.D. and M.S. student. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 150 extension articles.
- Watch Professor Brent Seller's presentation online here.