Dry Tropics Biodiversity Group Inc.

(inform, educate, enthuse, implement)

Example of simple environmental weed removal if in it's early stage:
(We may not have done such a good job; would fire or something else have killed the species out, or has it already spread to other areas on the hill?)

Balloon Cotton Bush at Mt. Stuart summit

 

On a trip to Mt. Stuart 17/5/99, SGAP members removed the only known occurrence in the Townsville region of Gomphocarpus physocarpus, Balloon Cotton Bush. The plant had just seeded. In an area with a radius of about 50m there were some 50 plants. All were easily removed in about an hour. No others were evident in the wider local area.

Doug Silke thought the species had probably been there for some 3 years.

We reckon we have done a very good job. In time this weed would have possibly spread throughout the whole of Mt. Stuart. If we return regularly to this "Hot Spot" we can probably monitor the regeneration of this weed and easily control it in half an hour's work every year, also preventing it from seeding again.

In fact Alan King has seen them there for some 10 years. So their rate of spread has possibly been quite slow. However he has noted that this species is an attractive food plant for the larvae of the Wanderer butterfly, Danaus plexippus, Nymphalidaea. Otherwise these larvae are apparently only found locally on the plant Asclepias curassicava. This very pretty butterfly and all it's foodplants are apparently exotic.