Weed surveillance gives native plants a better chance to thrive

Publish Date : 27 Apr 2023
Hydrocotyle Umbellata
Pest plant hydrocotyle umbellata

Aotea / Great Barrier Island supports over 575 native plant species, which is more than a quarter of all New Zealand's total flora. There are also around 300 exotic species present on the motu, some of which unfortunately pose a threat to our native species.

Auckland Council’s Natural Environment Delivery Islands team started surveying for these weeds on Aotea / Great Barrier in 2011, and work is ongoing as part of the Natural Environment Targeted Rate.

The team has been grateful for the understanding and cooperation from landowners, as their permission is needed to gain access to property to do this work. If permission is not granted, the work is not carried out.

“The data collected from the weed surveillance project helps us prioritise which weeds to manage before they become too widespread to control,” says Conservation Advisor Annamarie Clough.

“We really appreciate the community's willingness to allow us access to their properties to help the overall cause of protecting our unique flora from being displaced by pest plants.”

Small, localised infestations can often be dealt with while onsite, while larger weed problems are mapped and managed according to priorities.

The surveillance programme also aims to educate and support the local community by raising landowner awareness of invasive plants and sharing information on weed control techniques. Additionally, they can request a summarised report on their property’s pest plant status.

Data recorded on private property remains confidential between Auckland Council and the property owner.

The current rounds of weed surveillance began in northern Aotea (Port Fitzroy and Okiwi) moving progressively south down the island.

If you spot a pest plant, report it by taking a photo and emailing it along with a note of the location to pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

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