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Weed-busting: Another productive year

Weeds are a growing problem. To help protect the islands against weed infestation, the Project Island Song team have developed and are now implementing a long-term weed management plan. The plan identifies how best to tackle priority weeds, and allows us to strategically control or eradicate existing weeds and prevent new ones arriving. Nasties such as moth plant, tobacco weed and boneseed are just some of the weeds that will be targeted by the Project Island Song Weedbusters. Thanks to Barbara Parris, Jocelyn Powell, Tim Armitage, Rod Brown, Theresa Vujcich, Fleur Corbett, with input from DOC and NRC staff to develop the strategy.

Project Island Song Weedbusters have had another productive year tackling weeds on the islands. Work this year was helped along by a $1000 grant from Weedbusters NZ and Queen Elizabeth II Trust that helped the group get directly to high weed areas by water taxi, which not only allowed a more targeted approach, but also cut down on travel time.

Weedbuster update from Barbara Parris:

gin gerOur major effort was directed at moth plant on Moturua once again. After four years and eight months of weeding, the huge Mangahawea creek infestation has been reduced to occasional plants; however, regular monitoring will be needed over the next c. 10 years to control seedlings from the seed bank in the soil and blown-in seeds. Mexican Devil control in the creek catchment has reduced the support that moth plant uses to get into the canopy. The small moth plant colony in Waipao Bay has also been controlled. One day was spent in Otupoho Bay on climbing dock, seedling wattles, tobacco weed and giant reed. One day was spent in Army Bay on wattles, Mexican devil, mist flower and sweet pea bush. Boneseed, a new bad weed for Ipipiri, turned up on the shore line in Waipao and Mangahawea Bays; all plant seen have been uprooted.

mothWe also worked on various weeds in Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka, particularly wild ginger, German ivy, English ivy, guava, Mexican devil, castor oil plant, apple of Sodom, tobacco weed, ink weed, moth plant, ladder fern, railway creeper, jasmine, African club moss, spider plant and butcher’s broom. Outlying wild ginger populations in Paradise and Entico Bays have been treated, together with climbing dock in Entico Bay, tobacco weed and ink weed in Urupukapuka Bay and apple of Sodom, tobacco weed and ink weed above Cable Bay.

Poroporo was visited this year for the first time since 2012. The old garden site has numerous weeds, with English ivy, bamboo, jasmine, agapanthus, wild ginger, Fijian shell ginger, loquat, giant reed, brush wattle, firethorn and ladder fern being targeted on our two visits.

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