Controlling Wild Animals and Plants

Contents

Pigs

Pigs are the major feral threat on the D'Aguilar Range, not only to plants and small animals, but also to humans some of whom have had rapid and narrow escapes in the past year from some very large and formidable animals. Lawns at Mt Glorious have been excavated by pigs rooting for Kikuyu roots. In response to a letter from the Mt Glorious Community Association to the Queensland Government, a Feral Pig Management Plan was formulated to control feral pigs in Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious and the National Park.

Large steel traps are available for use by residents. They will be placed in residential areas with evidence of pig activity, and will be managed by residents. There needs to be regular prefeeding and evidence that food is being taken by pigs for three nights before traps are set.

If you have any questions or concerns about pigs in your area, contact Rangers at the D'Aguilar National Park Office (tel: 13 74 68).

Dingoes

Dingo problem – or people problem? (David Kington, QPWS, "Dingo problem or people problem?", Mountain News)

Almost daily, we hear of another dingo issue in the media, with associated claims of increased numbers of the animals. Unfortunately, Dingoes have to be killed every year, particularly at breeding time, because of people and their actions. Believe it or not, people are actually feeding these carnivores, and by doing so, upsetting the balance in the food chain, creating increased problems for both residents and wildlife, and signing a death warrant for the Dingo.

Provided people don't interfere by either intentionally or, inadvertently feeding the animals, Dingoes will regulate their own numbers along the range as they have for thousands of years.

Dingoes predate on feral pigs, foxes, feral cats and feral goats as well as maintaining balance in natural populations such as wallabies, possums and bandicoots. They are a valuable player in protected area management. Please help us keep them by following these tips for living in Dingo territory:

  • Properly constructed chook pens

  • Secure enclosures for other small domestic animals

  • Ensure dogs are contained and don't roam the bush

  • Discourage dingoes from coming close to dwellings e.g. throw something at them, make loud noises, electrical fencing.

  • Above all - never feed them or allow them access to food of any kind.

If you need advice on these issues please contact the D'Aguilar National Park Office (tel: 13 74 68).

Feral Plants

Definition of a weed: a plant out of place

Feral plants, or weeds, are of major concern on the range and their control consumes a great deal of time and energy by volunteers keen to retain the local forest's health and diversity.

The weeds that most threaten our forests are the exotic trees, vines, shrubs and dense groundcovers that have the ability to halt and reverse natural regeneration. Uncontrolled, these plants can eventually cause the breakdown of the rainforest ecosystem and the natural processes essential to it's survival. Weedy trees act as pioneers and occupy open spaces, gaps and edges ahead of the native species they replace. The structure and composition of the rainforest is changed when they stop natural succession by refusing to die out on cue for replacement by mature phase native species. Vines and creepers pose the biggest threat to the rainforest as they can cause total collapse of the ecosystem.

They start in gaps, smother and collapse the canopy effectively removing the trees and preventing any germination beneath them. Shrubs are usually somewhat less threatening to rainforests but are still a concern where shade tolerant species are able to persist under the canopy or inhibit seed germination by altering soil humus conditions. Dense groundcovers prevent germination of native species and occupy the position they would normally fill. This is of particular concern in creek areas where regular dispersal of seed and plant material occurs with flooding rain.

Names and photos of common weeds (vines, creepers, shrubs, trees and groundcovers) along with alternative natives to replace them, can be found in John Bowden's  Living With the Environment in the Pine Rivers Shire.

 

The Mt Nebo & Mt Glorious Environmental Protection Association has spent the last few decades trying to manage weeds in our local area, with a Strategic Weed Partnership involving a number of local agencies (including Moreton Bay Regional Council, Brisbane city Council and Transport & Main Roads) and currently manage weeds on 50kms of road reserves from The Gap to Wivenhoe Outlook (past Mt Glorious).

 

If you want any advice, or a visit from a local to help identify plants or concern or eradication methods, try our free "Do Your Block" service.
 

Notes from a talk by David Hocking on weeds

David, now retired from DPI, is a leading horticultural advisor with a particular interest in native plants.

Weed: any plant growing out of place.

Noxious weed: a plant which has been declared "noxious" by a government authority at State, region or shire level. e.g. Camphor Laurel in northern NSW. Once declared "noxious", the plant is subject to regulatory control which can be enforced on landholders.

Time: Important to recognise early problems. California's current problem of 'continuous urbanisation' is an indicator of our future, but we can still afford ideals re the balance of population to natural bush. Lantana so widespread but removal costs are prohibitive and therefore not declared noxious.

Mobility: Too easy to take plants from one environment to another without taking its natural controls, or. in contrast, its natural 'pests'. Most problems are not deliberate, although in hindsight, misguided. e.g. Sider retusaintroduced as a wonder fibre plant, but factories and profits never eventuated.

Source of weeds: Main source is the home gardener who dumps weeds on nearest vacant land or roadside. Always know when approaching town/settlement by the increase in roadside weeds.

Most Serious Weeds:

  • Madeira Vine (aka Potato Vine or Lamb's Tail): Forms fleshy roots which fall to ground and germinate.

  • Cat's Claw Creeper: Can wreck entire areas of bushland. Startling example at Gin-Gin where casuarinas are being killed by the creeper.

  • Privet: A major problem in Maleny where originally planted as a windbreak. Now "a lawn of privet seedlings" Two species: P. senensis, small leaf privet. and P. lucida a shiny large leaf.

  • Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica): Of great concern. At Montville so thick it is dragging down Eucalyptus trees. Potentially very serious.

  • Easter Cassia: Certainly spreading far and wide on the range.

  • Celtus sinensis (Chinese Elm): Bad in Brisbane, even infesting home gardens. In 1994, forests of this were found at North Pine Dam. Same problem starting at Mt Glorious where there are large trees which produce masses of seeds.

  • Mother of Millions (Bryophyllums): Very difficult to clear, as shoots from very small pieces.

  • Ochna: Very widespread because of succulent seeds carried by birds.

  • Shinus tereburthifolia (Broadleafed Pepperina): A problem in Brisbane.

  • Kolreuteria (Golden Rain Tree): Hop-like fruits which break into segments and spread. Not yet a serious threat but soon could be.

  • Asparagus Fern: Not really a fern, but ornamental 'asparagus'. Quite serious. Examples of serious penetration of acres at Crows Nest.

  • Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera): Americans are shocked that this plant is still sold here. In USA has infested acreage and whole water courses .

  • Corky Passion Vine (Passiflora suberea): Now in forestry areas e.g. Sunshine Coast.

  • Thunbergia grandiflora: Taking over rain forests near Cairns.

  • Purple Lantana: Some varieties sterile, others not.

  • Spanish Moss (Telegea usenioldes): Grown in garden on Lamington Plateau. Could spread through National Park by birds using it as nest material. In Sth America even "invades" telephone wires.

Others to watch out for: Indian Ginger, Singapore Daisy, African Tulip Tree, Jacaranda, Cadagi, Umbrella Tree.

 

NB: For control methods of some of these go to our Weed page.
 

WHAT CAN WE DO?

  • Act now. Eradicate while still possible, but needs lots of dedication.

  • Don't dump garden waste.

  • Avoid planting species in garden that are already weeds on roadside.

  • Be careful not to transfer plants e.g. via shoes (e.g. sticky weed on shoe laces recently caused problems on summit of Mt Bartle Frere).

Questions Regarding Eradication

See MEPA's Weeds page on this site.

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