Opuntioid cacti: best practice control manual

Page last updated: Tuesday, 5 March 2019 - 10:26am

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A national best practice control manual has been developed for invasive opuntioid cacti in Australia.

The manual for the first time brings together tools and knowledge from a number of sources, to provide an easy to use guide on how to successfully manage opuntioid cacti.

Twenty seven species of opuntioid cacti have been recognised as Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) since 2012. Cacti grow over a wide climatic range and have serious impacts on pastoral, agricultural and conservation land; pose a risk to stock and wildlife; reduce aesthetic values and recreational use; and can have a direct impact on human safety.

While there are a number of valuable publications on opuntioid cacti, to date there has been no consolidated management or control information for these weeds. 

Managing Opuntioid Cacti in Australia: A best practice control manual for Austrocylindropuntia, Cylindropuntia and Opuntia species provides a step by step guide, from understanding and identifying cacti, through to developing and implementing a strategic management approach. It also features seven case studies from across Australia, detailing the experiences of land managers in managing cacti.

Tools and features included are:

  • a quick look-up index to cross-reference botanical and common names of each of the 27 WoNS opuntioid species
  • checklist and summaries of key steps and considerations for planning and management purposes
  • a decision matrix for selecting an appropriate management approach and treatment technique
  • useful templates and links to external resources
  • a glossary of key terms and abbreviations.

The manual is arranged in six stand-alone yet complementary chapters. Each section has been summarised into individual powerpoint documents to assist users customise their own presentations in the promotion of best management practices to control Opuntiod cacti in Western Australia.

These chapters are outlined in this series of presentations:

A national joint effort

The manual was developed over 12 months, and was funded by the Commonwealth through the $50 million Established Pest Animals and Weeds initiative. This initiative is part of the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper - the government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy. Development of the manual was led by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and Biosecurity South Australia.

Information included in the manual was sourced from published material, existing research, reviews by technical experts and the experiences of individuals and organisations currently managing opuntioid cacti in Australia and internationally.

There was significant input into its development from a National Cactus Reference Group, comprised of representatives from all states and territories and chaired by DPIRD Priority Weed Response Manager Kay Bailey.

There was also input from more than 100 participants who took part in workshops held across the country, representing landholders, state and local government weeds officers, utilities, scientists, and agricultural, environmental and natural resource management professionals.

An electronic copy of the manual can be downloaded from this page.

Hard copy manuals can be ordered by calling (08) 9368 3333.