GAMBA GRASS IN THE NT
Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) is a
highly invasive weed that is extremely harmful to the Northern Territory's natural environment.
Gamba grass is a tall perennial grass that originated from Africa. It was introduced to the Northern Territory as a pasture species in the 1930s and was planted in many pastoral and agricultural areas throughout the Top End after initial research and trials.
However, gamba grass is so well suited to our Top End soils and climate, that it is now one of the most destructive weeds in the Northern Territory.
Gamba grass has two declaration zones under the NT Weeds Management Act 2001, one dedicated to eradication of gamba grass and the other for managing gamba grass growth and spread.
More information about gamba grass is available on the following websites:
Gamba grass is a highly invasive weed. It grows taller and more densely than native grass species and matures later in the dry season.
Gamba grass creates high fuel loads which can cause uncontrollable, hot and intense fires that destroy vegetation, large trees, animal habitat and decrease local biodiversity.
A gamba grass plant can produce up to 250,000 seeds per season. Seeds can be spread by wind, vehicles and machinery, animals and people.
Gamba grass currently affects up to 15,000 sq km of the NT, but has the potential to affect 380,000 sq km of the NT. Most infestations are currently north of Katherine.
STOP GAMBA SPREAD
Help stop the spread of gamba grass by:
Ensuring vehicles and equipment are clean before travelling or operating in the Gamba Eradication Zone
Cleaning vehicles before leaving an infested area
Ensuring all mud is removed - it may contain seeds!
Avoiding driving through gamba grass infestations.
REPORT GAMBA SIGHTINGS
If you see gamba grass in the Gamba Eradication Zone, please let us know so that it can be treated:
Take a photo of the infestation using your mobile phone and include location information (turn on show location information in your gallery settings)
Text to us on 0438 756 481 or email to [email protected]
IDENTIFYING GAMBA GRASS
Gamba grass has a few key features which are useful to understand for identification, reporting and management:
Erect perennial tussock grass to 4m
Robust stems covered in dense soft white hairs.
Leaves broad and softly hairy to 1m, with a distinctive white midrib.
Leaves stay green after native annual grasses have died off
Leaves covered in fine soft hairs
Seed heads v-shaped and fluffy, developing above the leaves on thick stems.
There are several native grasses that look similar to gamba grass. For further help identifying gamba grass watch the video below or visit the NT Government Weed Management Branch webpage.
Click here to see a full list of gamba grass resources collated from various groups and organisations throughout the region.