Chipping large grass tussocks out of dry soil is hard work by anyone's standards; but team up a few pros with shovels and hoes for a weekend of digging and lookout buffel grass! With 12 volunteers in all, 50 large bags were filled with buffel grass tussocks and seed heads from the Freshwater Creek line on Bon Bon Station Reserve, helping to contain a major infestation from moving downstream.
Perri Carter from the Arid Recovery team at Roxby Downs heads up the 'Roxby Downs Buffel Busters'; a group of dedicated community members who get together on a regular basis to keep buffel grass infestations under control in and around their town. They've been keen for sometime to visit Bon Bon and share their time and skills helping out with the buffel project.
Perri was able to team up the Roxby Buffel Busters with another group of dedicated volunteers from the Eyre Peninsula region, called 'Friends of the Gawler Ranges National Park'; who spend much of their spare time working on projects in their local national park.
The buffel buster volunteers were able to spend an enjoyable weekend bush camping and socialising as well as helping to progress the Bon Bon buffel grass control project. They worked on the outer perimeter of the creek infestation to help contain the spread and keep it clear of tracks where vehicles can pick up seed. After the next rain, herbicides will be used with spot sprayers to mop up the area chipped.
Buffel grass (centrus ciliaris) has become a major weed in outback South Australia and poses a considerable threat to the biodiversity and conservation values of the reserve. Digging buffel grass, along with herbicide spraying and burning are all tools used at Bon Bon to reduce the threat of this serious weed.
A big thank you to all of the volunteers, contractors and partners who've helped us with this project during the 2014 season. In total, around 20,000 litres of herbicide was used to control buffel grass along the Stuart Highway road verges, around the homestead area, the Old Stuart Highway and along several creek lines. In addition, many hours were spent chipping, bagging and mapping. Much of the area covered was 'follow-up' treatment after herbicide control during the 2013 season.
Biosecurity South Australia is also dedicated to improving control options for buffel grass and has set up a number of herbicide control trial sites in the region (including two on Bon Bon Station Reserve).