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 has been formulated to control feral pigs in Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious and Brisbane Forest Park.

Six large steel traps are being constructed for use by residents, three in each community. 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.

The strategy in Brisbane Forest Park 2km or more outside residential areas will be to use 1080 baiting. It is preferred because baits can be made selective only to pigs, it can kill the greatest number of pigs, it is very efficient, secondary poisoning is very unlikely and target areas can be changed quickly to keep up with pig movement. The first step which has already begun is to drop food, such as grain soaked in water until rotten, at locations visited daily by an officer from the Department of Natural Resources. Once a regular feeding pattern has been observed for several weeks, grain containing the toxin 1080 will be deposited. The grain will be dyed bright green to make it unattractive to birds. Grain is not eaten by other animals.

The hunting of pigs with dogs is strongly discouraged, especially during the above programme. Dogs can alter the behaviour and location of pigs and thus interfere with trapping and baiting.

If you have any questions or concerns about the management plan, you could contact Dave Kington, Brisbane Forest Park (tel: 33004855).


Dingoes

Dingo problem - or people problem? (David Kington, Ranger, Brisbane Forest Park, "Dingo problem or people problem?", Mountain News, June 1998)

Almost daily, we hear of another dingo issue in the media, with associated claims of increased numbers of the animals. Isn't it strange that until April we hadn't heard of this issue since April - June last year? Again it is mating time for Dingoes and along with it, the increase in activities which comes every year.

Unfortunately, Dingoes have to be killed every year, particularly at this 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:

If you need advice on these issues please contact Brisbane Forest Park on 33004855.

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 rainforest 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, published by the Pine Rivers Shire Council and available in local shops. The Mt Nebo & Mt Glorious Environmental Protection Association (MEPA) and Weeds Australia also have good websites with information and photos for identification.


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 retusa introduced 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:

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

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Questions Regarding Eradication

(For a more info see the 'Weeds' section in the MEPA site.)

Mother of Millions: Hand collect and burn; conscientious follow-up before seeding.

Wandering Jew and German Ivy: Resistant to herbicides, but Round-up will brown off. Rake into a heap, disturb heap every month or so. Use of Diesoline is underestimated. Spray on plant. Avoid ground although volatilised quickly.

Privet: Garlon and diesoline. Very good treatment: paint on bark or cut off and paint stumps. Apply 30ml Garlon to 1 lite of diesolene. Most effective tree killer. Cut off and paint cut, sides and exposed roots. Can be kept safely as a mixture in screw-top jar.

General Comments re use of herbicides. Caution and appropriate use. New herbicide "Brush Off" is very good on bracken and mist weed without killing grass. Not so effective on lantana, wild tobacco. Some success on privets if leaves sprayed (mix with detergent). Tordon has soil life of 10 years. Should not be used. Banned in NSW. Round-up reputedly has no soil life. Some have questioned that it may be absorbed in other material e.g. mulch and subsequently released, while others have reported problem with the surfactant (wetting agent), but in such small quantities not likely. Even solvents have some toxicity.

Some people object to "chemicals" but will use kerosene, borax, or salt which are damaging. "Alternative" sprays e.g. garlic or citronella in themselves are ineffective, it is the other additives of kerosene and soap which are the active ingredients. May kill insects but bad for plants especially in hot weather. Modern chemicals should be compared to modern tools - there to be used sensibly, and can then offer great advantages.


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