A new resource has been added to the tool-kits of people looking to get the most out of their efforts to control bitou bush, one of Australia’s worst weeds.

The Native Plant Species at Risk from Bitou Bush Invasion: a field guide for NSW, launched recently by the Department of Environment and Climate Change, will be invaluable in helping to identify native species at risk of serious decline from bitou bush invasion.

The guide, developed in collaboration with the NSW coastal Catchment Management Authorities, is a companion document to the NSW Bitou Bush Threat Abatement Plan which identifies native species at risk.

According to Chair of the Northern Rivers CMA, Dr Judy Henderson, the field guide fills an important gap in providing information for volunteers and other land managers on how to identify coastal threatened species in the field.

“The pocket-sized field guide for the first time describes the 157 native plant species, three plant populations and 24 ecological communities most at risk from bitou bush invasion in one user-friendly book,” Dr Henderson said.

“Bitou bush has invaded over 80% of the New South Wales coastline, placing many plant species and ecological communities unique to the coast at risk.

“Importantly, the new guide will help bush regenerators identify the most at-risk species, thus avoiding their damage during weed control efforts.

“The guide is available free to anyone interested and working in bitou bush management, including community volunteers, agency staff, and weed control contractors.”

Copies of the field guide are available from the Department of Environment and Climate Change by contacting the Environment Line 1300 555.