Volunteer Nicky Rolls nabs a flowering siam plant on Basalt Creek, Yourka Reserve, Qld. Photo Leanne Hales.
Weeds usually occur where grazing and farming activities have been concentrated, such as around stock yards and dams and along tracks. Many weeds start as introduced pasture grasses or arrive on the wheels of vehicles, in stock feed, or are carried into properties by cattle and sheep.
When not controlled, weeds can out-compete native plants and smother native vegetation. For example, lantana is a highly invasive weed that can change the structure of woodlands and forests by taking over the understorey. It eliminates grasses and smaller shrubs that provide habitat for native animals.
Volunteer weeders at a working bee on Nardoo Hills Reserves, Victoria. Photo Craig Allen.
We remove weeds by hand, spray or inject them with herbicide or, in the case of highly invasive pasture grasses such as serrated tussock and buffel grass, use cattle to graze the weeds intensively for short periods. This helps to reduce the amount of seed the weed species can produce and to reduce the density of the plants. Such pulse grazing is usually undertaken together with other control measures.
How the land responds
Once weeds are removed or reduced, native species can recolonise the areas naturally or we spread native seed or replant seedlings to help re-establish native habitats.