Weed control at Wongalara

Weed control at Wongalara

Invasive weeds are a having a major environmental impact across most of the Top End.  However, primarily because of its remote location and relatively short history of pastoralism, Wongalara remains relatively weed free.

The risk of weed invasion remains high because many neighbouring properties are intensifying their pastoral operations including through the seeding of exotic plants. 

The weeds requiring attention on Wongalara are as follows:

  • Grader grass:  the area of occupancy is low (<20 hectares). 
  • Gamba grass:  the area of occupancy is very low (<1 hectare).
  • Rubber bush (Calotropis):  occurs only as scattered plants.

These three weeds are treated annually as part of a dedicated program involving a combination of spraying, burning and cutting/removal

Other weed species on Wongalara, such as the Sidas (Sida acuta, S. cordifolia, S. rhombifolia) and Hyptis (Hyptis suaveolens) are opportunists in disturbed areas and have lesser environmental impact.  These species will diminish as sources of disturbance (cattle, frequent fire, etc) are reduced.  However, AWC staff also undertake strategic control in key areas to limit their spread. 

AWC is co-ordinating a major regional weed control project from our base at Wongalara.  Funded primarily by the Federal Government, the program involves aerial application of herbicide backed up by ground work on Wongalara and neighbouring properties in conjunction with pastoral and indigenous landholders and Landcare groups.