Cactus are weeds of national significance
There are no native cacti in Australia.
Of serious concern to Western Australia are the Opuntioid group of cacti, which were declared Weeds of National Significance in early 2012.
Since then Western Australia has declared 27 species of Opuntioid cacti under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, and 23 of these have been found in WA.
If a new species of invasive cactus can be detected while the population is small, complete eradication is often feasible and cheap.
It the problem is noticed too late, eradication becomes very difficult, if not impossible.
To ensure we can prevent these invasive cacti spreading and becoming an even bigger problem, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) needs to understand where they are.
To also help prevent the establishment of serious cacti in WA, it is illegal to sell, trade or move declared cactus.
Five of the worst cactus
- Coral cactus Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata
- Jumping cholla Cylindropuntia prolifera
- Hudson pear Cylindrapuntia pallida and C. tunicata
- Wheel cactus Opuntia robusta
- Devils rope cactus Cylindropuntia imbricata