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Magnetic Island call-up in fight against Siam weed

9 October 2015

Visitors to Magnetic Island are being enlisted in a fight against one of the most invasive weeds in the world.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Ranger Patrick Centurino said rangers had so far been successful in containing an infestation of the very high priority Class 1 Siam weed in the Mount Cook area of the island, but there was no room for complacency.

"Rangers have been working on controlling the infestation since October last year and extensive surveys of the surrounding areas have shown that their efforts to contain the weed spread have so far been successful," Mr Centurino said.

"While the infestation may be contained for the moment, only the return of the rains will tell how effective their efforts have been.

"Right now the Siam weed outbreak has been confined to the highest point in the middle of the island and it’s vital for people to avoid the area until further notice.

"We’re also asking everyone to keep their eyes peeled wherever they are on Magnetic Island and alert the rangers immediately if they spot it anywhere else."

Mr Centurino said Siam weed was considered one of the most invasive weeds in the world. A single plant could produce more than 80,000 seeds per season and the seeds were spread on the wind.

"This noxious weed has the potential to seriously degrade Magnetic Island’s dry tropical savannah environment, which is why it’s crucial to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible," Mr Centurino said.

"QPWS has been working closely with the Department of Defence, Biosecurity Queensland, North Queensland Dry Tropics and local groups to deal with the infestation as quickly as possible. What we need now, from everyone on the island, is vigilance.

"It’s the best defence against this invasion as the wet season approaches."

Anyone who thinks they’ve found Siam weed on Magnetic Island can report it to QPWS rangers on 4778 5378.

Information about Siam weed and photographs of the plant (PDF)* are available online.

* Requires Adobe Reader

Last updated
9 October 2015