Pilbara travellers are reminded to keep a lookout for Noogoora burr after the invasive weed was found at Carawine Gorge, a popular camping spot on the Oakover River.
Noogoora burr (Xanthium strumarium) is a declared plant in Western Australia, occurring in some areas of the Kimberley but not established in the Pilbara or elsewhere in the State.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development biosecurity officer Lara Martin said a small number of plants reported at the camping spot had been removed and further local surveillance would be undertaken.
“Noogoora burr has the potential to seriously impact agricultural and pastoral industries,” Ms Martin said.
“It flourishes in areas with high rainfall and a temperate climate. Plants are toxic to livestock, pose a threat to the environment and the burrs can contaminate wool in sheep grazing areas.”
Noogoora burr is typically found after spring or summer rains in the north and can be found along river and creek flats, roadsides and in pastures.
“It spreads by seed located in the burrs, which become attached to pets, livestock, clothing and footwear, so help from the community is vital in preventing the spread of this weed,” Ms Martin said.
“The burrs can also float, enabling the weed to move and spread via rivers and waterbodies.”
This is the second infestation of Noogoora burr found in the Pilbara during the past year.
An infestation found at the De Grey Rest area on the De Grey River in June last year involved landholders and the regional biosecurity group working together to remove the weed by hand, using burns or herbicides.
“We encourage travellers, especially those leaving the Kimberley, to check their clothing, vehicles, equipment and animals for weed burrs and carefully dispose of them to prevent Noogoora burr spreading further south,” Ms Martin said.
Suspect detections of Noogoora burr outside the Kimberley region, or any suspect or unfamiliar plants, should be reported to the nearest department office or the Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Suspect weed reports can also be made using the MyPestGuideReporter™ app and selecting the project MyWeedWatcher.
Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937