STOP GAMBA GRASS IN ITS TRACKS

STOPPING THE SPREAD OF GAMBA GRASS INTO WEST ARNHEM LAND AND KAKADU

Territory Natural Resource Management is working with groups and organisations across West Arnhem Land in a coordinated effort to stop the spread of gamba grass into Kakadu National Park and throughout the Arnhem Land region.

Currently, there are only scattered and isolated infestations of gamba grass in the region. We are working to locate and eradicate all gamba grass infestations and to stop the spread of this invasive grass.

Following recent wet season rain, gamba grass is now actively growing.  Rangers, contractors and land management organisations are out surveying for and treating gamba grass infestations before they flower in April and seed starts to fall in May.

 

 Jethro Guymala from Demed/Adjumarllarl Rangers

GAMBA GRASS IDENTIFICATION

  • 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. If you are unsure, contact the Weed Management Branch.

Gamba grass identification photos and Declaration zone map courtesy of NT Weed Management Branch.

HELP TO STOP GAMBA IN ITS TRACKS

STOP GAMBA SPREAD

If you are living, visiting or working in Arnhem Land, help stop the spread of gamba grass:

  • Wash and clean vehicles and equipment before travelling or operating in the Gamba Eradication Zone

  • Clean vehicles before leaving an infested area

  • Ensure all mud is removed. Mud may contain seeds.

 

REPORT GAMBA

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]

Gamba grass is a declared weed with two declaration zones under the NT Weeds Management Act 2001.

Zone A: Eradication Zone: to be eradicated

Zone B: Control Zone: growth and spread to be controlled

GAMBA GRASS IN THE NT

Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) is originally from Africa. It was introduced to the Northern Territory as a pasture species in the 1930s. Research and trials resulted in plantings in pastoral and agricultural areas of the Top End.​

 

Gamba grass is so well suited to our Top End soils and climate, that it has become a highly invasive weed.

GAMBA THREAT

Gamba grass is a highly invasive weed. It grows bigger, taller and more densely than native grass species. It creates high fuel loads which can cause uncontrollable, hot and intense fires that destroy vegetation, large trees, animal habitat and decrease local biodiversity.

GAMBA SPREAD

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.

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