MANAGING MIMOSA PIGRA

The prickly invasive riparian shrub, Mimosa pigra, presents management problems in many catchments of the Northern Territory, where it reduces the biodiversity value of floodplain habitat, blocks access to cultural sites and reduces grazing value of pastoral land. Seeds of Mimosa pigra are water borne and isolated plants and small infestations in upper catchment areas can quickly produce huge banks of long-lived seed which spread downstream, infesting lower areas. Feral pig activity also exacerbates weed establishment and spread in many catchments.

FINNISS REYNOLDS CATCHMENT GROUP PROJECT

In 2012, funding was secured under the Biodiversity Fund Round One, for implementation of a five year catchment project addressing management of Mimosa pigra and feral pigs in the Finniss and Reynolds Rivers region of the Northern Territory. The project was originally an initiative of the RM Williams Agricultural Holdings company, who operated two large pastoral properties in the region, but since mid-2013 the project has been under TNRM management.

One of the challenges faced is the logistics of stakeholder engagement and pest management across a 5500 square kilometre area, comprised of Indigenous land, pastoral properties, national parks, crown land, weekender blocks, and rural residential blocks. To facilitate this, various groups and organisations have gathered together to create a steering committee which has the role of supporting stakeholders to perform physical management of the weed through aerial spraying and on-ground works across the catchments. Reimbursement incentives are used to encourage stakeholders to manage large infestations and regular stakeholder meetings provide an interface where management information can be exchanged, as well as an arena in which management issues can be raised and turned over to the steering committee for resolution.

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