Bitou bush winter control program commences soon
June 1, 2011
NPWS Pest Management Officer, Lisa Wellman, said bitou bush control is undertaken in accordance with the Bitou Bush Threat Abatement Plan, which outlines Statewide priorities, based on protecting endangered species and ecological communities such as grassy headlands and littoral rainforests.
“NPWS uses an integrated approach to the control of bitou bush and other weeds,” Ms Wellman said.
“This involves removing weeds in order to encourage the native plant community to regenerate. Techniques used include ground-based control, bush regeneration and aerial spraying.
“Infestations of bitou bush will be controlled in Brunswick Heads, Billinudgel and Wooyung nature reserves and Broadwater and Bundjalung national parks using aerial spraying this June and July.
“Aerial spraying is a cost-effective and efficient tool that enables us to control bitou bush over large areas which would otherwise be extremely difficult and time consuming.
“Monitoring is ongoing in these reserves and has been used to assess the recovery of native species biodiversity as well as the future requirements for bitou bush control.
“Monitoring results from the 2009 and 2010 control programs in northern Brunswick Heads and Billinudgel nature reserves have shown that it was highly effective, with 90% of bitou bush killed and no negative impacts on native species. Monitoring of these sites has also found that native plants increased in size, number and variety on the fore-dune.
“Follow-up control programs are essential to ensure that native plant communities recover from the impacts of bitou bush.
“Temporary closures of areas to be treated will occur between Monday the 20th June and Friday the 8th of July, 2011.”
Indicative closure dates are as follows:
- Brunswick Heads (north), Billinudgel and Wooyung nature reserves – 20th June, 2011.
- Bundjalung and Broadwater national parks – 27th June, 2011.
“These closure dates are only indicative, as operations are very weather-dependant. Aerial operations may occur on any day from the 20th June until the 8th of July, however, further notifications will be provided closer to the date,” Ms Wellman said.
“Brunswick Heads (north of the river), Wooyung and Billinudgel nature reserves will be closed at the commencement of each scheduled day until the work is completed. The reserves will be reopened daily if conditions are not suitable.
“In Bundjalung National Park the temporary closures will affect Ten Mile beach from Goanna (Snapper) Headland to Shark Bay and Woody Head to Iluka Bluff. This will include access to Ten Mile Beach at Black Rocks and Shark Bay. Woody Head and Black Rocks camping area and Iluka Bluff are not within the treatment area and will remain open.
“In Broadwater National Park program will take place from the southern boundary of the national park and extend north to Hind Dune trail, approximately two kilometres north of Salty Creek mouth.”
For further information please contact area offices as follows: Tweed Area 6670 8600, Richmond River Area 6627 0200, Clarence North Area 6641 1500 or www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au