A few declared weeds found in the Shire and a reminder that it is the responsibility of the farmer to control these on your farm.
Echium plantagineum (Paterson's Curse) pictured inset right Previously this was controlled in Brown Reserve by the APB, however since they left town there has been little effort to keep this weed contained. However, a biocontrol has been developed and very good results have been achieved in the York Shire for its control. There is the opportunity for this biocontrol to be spread in Brown Reserve (located south of the Peterson Road) in late October. To ensure this activity achieves maximum effect, it is important to target areas outside of the Reserve. If you have Paterson’s curse on your farm and you wish to participate in receiving and spreading this biocontrol please contact the Landcare Office soon.
Onopordum acaulon (Stemless thistle) pictured below left
The seed of the thistle is mainly spread by wind dispersal but also via birds, in hay, silage, chaff and commercial seed and by water. Due to its mobile seed dispersal this prostrate annual or biennial herb has the capability to spread rapidly and if stock is forced to eat it, cases of impaction and suspected liver damage have occurred. It is drought tolerant and found mainly in pastures, roadsides and thrives in this rainfall area.It flowers between Oct -Nov and has an 8-year dormancy of the seed. Due to the seed being highly mobile it is critical that you persist in controlling it every year. There is evidence that with persistence, it can be eradicated.
Asparagus asparagoides (Bridal creeper) pictured below right
Yes……. this is declared and once it establishes in bush areas, it multiplies very rapidly and is difficult to control. Birds are known suspects to spread it and it is often seen growing under Quandong trees. It is widespread in the Nairibin Reserves, along the roadsides and spreading into private property. Sheep will eat it, but due to its underground corms it will grow back every year. A rust fungus has been spread in the Nairibin Reserve and over time this may restrict the growth of the weed and keep it contained.
It is also growing and rapidly spreading in the bush area surrounding the Dongolocking Hall and in the unformed road reserve to the North. Unfortunately, this weed has also been recorded growing in the beautiful Dongolocking Reserve. If this grows uninhibited, it will soon multiply and smother the natural bush as it has done at Nairibin Reserves. The Parks and Wildlife no longer control this weed in Reserves, therefore the onus is back on the public to act. If you wish to maintain your pristine bush areas and keep it free from this invading weed please contact the Landcare Office.
Article by C. Hadlow
As the night temperatures become warmer this will signal increased activity from our shy and rarely seen animal species that have been spotted on roadsides, in bush areas and even home gardens in the Shire.
The Red-tailed Phascogale (pictured right) can be found living across a broad range of environments having also been sighted in home gardens and sheds. However, in these places the chances of breeding and survival are rare due to predation from domestic pets and sometimes foxes. From the recent trapping program carried out at Dongolocking, it is evident that they are surviving in numbers in healthy bush areas where they have access to a good food supply.
The Brush Possum has been sighted crossing roads in the Tarin Rock area and was also trapped at Dongolocking, indicating they are still surviving across the Shire, away from predators and in bush where there is a sustainable food supply for them.
The Chuditch or Western Quoll has been sighted near Kukerin and South of Dumbleyung near Coomelberrup. This is the largest carnivorous marsupial that occurs in Western Australia. They are opportunistic feeders and primarily forage on the ground at night. They will also climb trees to obtain prey or escape from predators.
The Brush-tailed Bettong or Woylie is a small kangaroo-like marsupial. They are nocturnal animals, foraging at night within their relatively large home ranges of 15-141 ha. They have yellowish grey to reddish brown fur with a pale belly and a long, prehensile tail with a black brush at the end. They have strongly clawed forefeet, used for digging for food and nest making. They have also been sighted in the Coomelberrup area and are recognised as a threatened species.
Following the very successful fauna trapping project at Dongolocking, it is important for many reasons that we build up a record of where these animals are habituating across the Shire, monitor their environment and habits and take action to protect them from threating predators, foxes and feral cats.
If you happen to sight any of these animals, can you please be mindful to download a fauna report form from the website https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au or contact the Landcare Office on firstname.lastname@example.org,.au
Article by C. Hadlow