Serrated tussock - northern Midlands
Highly invasive perennial grasses pose a serious threat to Tasmanian agriculture and horticulture by competing with desirable pastures and crops, reducing stock carrying capacity, tainting wool and fur and, in the case of one invasive grass, even causing stock injuries.
These invasive grasses also have a devasting impact on natural ecosystems, particularly in grasslands and grassy woodlands and forests, where they rapidly diminish the quality and diversity of the native ground-flora and impact on shrub and overstorey regeneration. This in turn can impact on native fauna, including a range of invertebrates dependent on native ground-flora for habitat.
In urban settings these grasses can also impact on recreational activities like walking, playing and dog walking.
The Australian Government has provided $495,546 to Tasmania for a project focused on controlling highly invasive perennial grasses across the state. These funds are complemented by up to $150,000 in contributions from the Tasmanian Government through the Weed Action Fund (WAF)
The Highly Invasive Perennial Grasses Project runs for two years and has several key objectives:
- updating the data on the known distribution of highly invasive perennial grasses in the state.
- establishing a Tasmanian Invasive Grasses Network covering key stakeholders impacted by highly invasive perennial grasses.
- building awareness around the impacts, management, and control of highly invasive perennial grasses.
- supporting landowners and land managers to control highly invasive perennial grasses (via the Weed Action Fund).
Several highly invasive perennial grasses are the focus of this project:
Perennial grasses that are of value as pasture, are not highly invasive or are relatively easy to control, are not included in this project.
For further information on this project contact:
Or phone Invasive Species Branch: 03 6165 3777
Serrated tussock is unpalatable to stock. The photo above shows it in seed amongst pasture near Richmond. Each plant can produce many thousands of seed each year and seed-heads can be carried on winds for several kilometres.
Pictured above is a dense stand of Chilean needle grass along a nature strip on Hobart’s eastern shore. Chilean needle grass seed can injure stock and domestic animals. Plants have low palatability and can rapidly colonise pasture and native grassy ecosystems.
Pictured above is a stand of African feather grass in the Huon Valley following spray control. African feather grass prefers moist situations, where it can form large, often impenetrable infestations.