The Invasive Species Council has released a report detailing the environmental risks posed by weedy pasture plants being used for salinity control in southern Australia.
Weedy pasture plants are also being promoted for saline areas or to help control salinity across southern Australia. Photo: Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS database
It also warns that one of those invasive pasture plants, Tall Wheat Grass (Lophopyrum ponticum), could become one of Victoria’s worst weeds and has the potential to invade more than half the state.
The report, Sowing the Seeds of Destruction, was commissioned by the Invasive Species Council and the Wilderness Society to convince policy-makers of the need to address weed threats posed by salinity mitigation programs.
The report documents the weed threat of many other exotic plants promoted or proposed for salinity control, and highlights the fact that existing weed problems could be exacerbated by the release of new breeds of pasture plants bred for greater tolerance of salinity and drought.
It points out that government promotion of weeds as salinity solutions is symptomatic of law and policy failings on weeds, identified in the report, and concludes with 14 recommendations for reform.
Dear National Deer Management Coordinator,
Please accept this as a submission to the National Feral Deer Action Plan.
[Your personalised message will appear here]
I am very concerned about the spread of deer and am pleased that a national plan has finally been developed. Without urgent action, funding and commitment from all levels of government it is clear that feral deer will continue to spread and damage our environment.
The feral deer population in Australia is growing rapidly and spreading across the country, damaging our natural environment, causing havoc for farmers and foresters and threatening public safety. Unlike much of the world where deer are native, our plants and wildlife haven’t evolved to deal with these heavy hard hooved animals with a voracious appetite.
With no natural predators and an ability to adapt to almost all environments, they could occupy almost all of Australia unless stopped. Despite this, state and territory governments have been slow to respond and in Victoria and Tasmania they are still protected by law for the enjoyment of hunters.
This plan should be adopted by all governments but must also be underpinned by dedicated funding and clear responsibilities. A plan without funding or accountability is a plan that will fail and Australia cannot afford for this to fail.
In order to prevent the spread of feral deer and reduce their impact on our native wildlife, ecosystems and agriculture, I ask that the following recommendations be adopted for the final National Feral Deer Action Plan:
1. All federal, state and territory governments should adopt the National Feral Deer Action Plan and declare feral deer to be a priority pest animal species.
2. All federal, state and territory governments should commit to:
3. In order to drive action and the success of this plan, there should be dedicated Commonwealth funding and support for:
4. The expected outcomes for the plan need to be more ambitious, with clear interim targets including:
5. A national feral deer containment map with three zones should be adopted. It should be more ambitious than the zone map in the current draft plan and there should be greater clarity in the naming of the zones. Improvements that should be adopted include:
6. There should be consistent laws and regulations across all states and territories that:
I support the follow principles being adopted in the final National Feral Deer Action Plan: