The November 19 event was scheduled to be a Maynard Pk. The lack of rain has meant that the buffel is pretty well under control on the hill so it is likely that we will do follow up on the cactus project. Plants found at the last cactus muster suggest that even with...read more
Big thanks to the 8 people who ventured out on a hot October morning to continue our ongoing buffel management in Spencer Valley. Suni and Shrike cut a fine swathe through the large patch of buffel in the far tip of the ‘Big Triangle’ with their brush cutters....read more
Come along to our AGM and help celebrate another year, the last in single digits. 9AM Sunday 19th Nov 17 on the lawns at the Telegraph Station. We'll be sharing cool drinks, some food and some stories (the party bit). Hope to see you there! For those interested in...read more
Two working bees over the last month have addressed the issue of buffel grass around river reds and other native vegetation. The first, on the last Sunday of August, concentrated on a patch around the mouth of the Burke St drain to Schwarz Crs on the eastern bank....read more
Updates from the Landcare Groups
Big thanks to the 8 people who ventured out on a hot October morning to continue our ongoing buffel management in Spencer Valley. Suni and Shrike cut a fine swathe through the large patch of buffel in the far tip of the ‘Big Triangle’ with their brush cutters. Meanwhile further south the rest of us grappled with stray clumps in the large central third of the Triangle. The Rainbow Bee-eaters kept us entertained, and luckily the wind came up which helped a lot with the heat. As always, there is more to do… and lovely to have offers from local people to come out more often in the future. Getting such a good turnout on a hot dusty day was, as always, a lovely morale boost too.
Once again Landcare volunteers have done a sweep of the area between the Alice Springs Community Garden and Reus Crt to locate and remove invasive cacti in the area. Preliminary searching by Andy had located around 10 plants. These were removed, and in doing so, another 3 plants were found. In total around 65kg of material was removed.
This is the third sweep of the area and what is becoming evident is that these plants are very hard to find. Even diligent searching often misses plants. It is also apparent that despite the dry year we’ve had, plants are growing quite fast and producing segments capable of starting new plants.
Based on what has been found in this previously treated area it has been decided to change the location and theme of our last field day scheduled for November 26 to be another cactus search and destroy mission.
Keep an eye on this site and the Alice Springs Landcare Facebook page for updates.
Olive Pink Botanic Garden Landcare group will be conducting a fuel reduction activity in The Todd River between Stott Tce Bridge and Tuncks Rd causeway on September 17 from 8 to 10 AM. Meet at the gazebo in the garden. Visit their website more details. http://opbg.com.au/events/olive-pink-landcare-group-working-bee/
Come along on October 29th and help maintain this popular piece of open space that links suburbia with the Telegraph Station Reserve.Help to remove buffel grass from around the bases of trees and shrubs to reduce the fire threats in the area and open it up for the re=establishement of native groundcovers. This area has been maintained for many years now and is a great example of the result of controlling buffel grass.
Alice Springs Landcare volunteers Andy, Sue and Audrey joined Parks and Wildlife Ranger Matt to complete a cactus segment count today on the biggest plant found in a new infestation north of town. The Grandaddy Coral Cactus measured in at 1½m high, and shy under 3m across, and was leaden with 1150 removable segments. “This is one of the oldest Coral Cactus Ive seen around these parts yet”, said Andy, “and it is producing more segments than we ever expected”. It is also the first time Coral Cactus has been seen here in flower and with fruiting bodies, probably infertile. The infestation looks like to have started by rubbish dumping at the site years ago. Parks and Wildlife Rangers and St Philips College students will complete the removal of the infestation next week.
Alice Springs Landcare is concerned about the spread of invasive Cactus plants in Central Australia. Invasive Cacti impact upon Australia’s natural environment and threaten to spread across the arid zone. There are 20 species of Cactus that are recognised as invasive and have recently been added to the list of declared weeds by the Northern Territory Government.
Landcare spokesperson Andy Vinter said “Invasive Cacti pose a threat because they can easily establish in the bush and require considerable effort to control. Landcare have been strategically removing cacti weeds around the edge of town before they spread further into the bush. So far volunteers have put in over 1300 hours and have removed 2½ tonnes of cactus. Our concern now is that the cactus plants growing in gardens today will become the weeds of tomorrow in the bush”.
Gardeners are being asked to check if they have any invasive cactus varieties in their gardens. Andy said “The two types of invasive cactus plants include the Prickly Pear varieties (Opuntia spp.) with large rounded pads, and the Rope Cacti (Cylindropuntia spp.) that produce small segments that fall off the plant.” Information about these Cacti can be found at the Australian Invasive Cacti Network or Australian Government Weeds of National Significance websites, or from the Northern Territory Government Weeds Management Branch.
To encourage gardeners to surrender their invasive cactus plants Alice Springs Landcare is partnering with Territory Natural Resource Management to offer a replacement plant voucher for a limited time only. This offer only applies to the replacement of invasive cacti species. To receive this offer contact Landcare by email on email@example.com. Send in a photograph of the cactus, with your phone contact details and street address. A Landcare representative will contact you to arrange the plant replacement.
This project is supported by Alice Springs Landcare and Territory Natural Resource Management through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Another weekend of cactus control gave us a chance to head west of the Stuart Highway and followup on some Coral Cactus growing on Teppa Hill. Tackling this infestation, and another behind Lackman Tce, is a critical step to stop this weed spreading to the west of town. Landcare also had a stall at the Heritage Markets at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Open Day. This gave us a chance to raise awareness about invasive cacti, and to generate interest in our next field day to be held on May 8th at the Telegraph Station.
Last sunday a few volunteers walked through the hills off Kurrajong Drive in search of that last 5 cactus that were found last year. The 5 cacti soon turned into 10, plus a few more, but all were collected in the end. A total of 67kg was taken to landfill from the days efforts. Well done all.
Thanks to all you volunteers for supporting Landcare this year at our cactus control and other projects. For cactus we managed to complete a sweep of previously treated sites through Eastside, Alice Springs. Following up is so import for success. Works at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Reserve by Conservation and land management students from Batchelor Institute continued to make significant headway into controlling this weed population. Two detailed surveys between ASTS and Kurrajong Drive infestations were undertaken by students and volunteers. New plants were mapped by St Phillips Geography class west of the Todd River. 2016 works will head to the west in pursuit.
Pics 1-6 at Kurrajong Dr: 2yr regrowth, one gotta away; tricky hand removal work; the crew; Sprayed patch with hand removal required to finish him off; cactus count.
Today 14 Landcare volunteers dedicated their time to another cactus control day at Cavanagh Cresent, Eastside. A total of 80kg of Coral Cactus was removed to landfill today, completing the second treatment (and hopefully the last) of this area. This backs up the efforts of 2 weeks ago when 20 volunteers collected 100kg of Coral Cactus and removed Buffel Grass around 62 trees in Spencer Valley. These efforts bring our total cactus catch to over one and a half tonnes (see the Cactus count graph below). That’s a lot of cactus that’s now not spreading into the bush.
Still there’s more cactus to catch, and our next field day to be announced will target the Kurrajong Drive area (see map), with future plans to get to Teppa Hill later this year.