2011 – 2013

Advancing effective management of WoNS in the Pilbara

A partnership with the Rangelands NRM Coordinating Group


Duration: November 2011 – June 2013

Funding: $500,000

This project compliments past investment in the on-ground management and control of mesquite and parkinsonia, and aims towards formalising relationships and strategic investment plans for the long-term management of these WoNS. This project includes the

Key Outcomes:

Maintain regional coordination of mesquite and parkinsonia management

Develop formal partnerships to support the PMMC and its core activities

Develop partnerships between neighbouring land managers (pastoral, resource and government) to strengthen control program success

Update weed management plans for pastoral stations

Undertake the on-ground surveillance and control of mesquite and parkinsonia across 80,000 ha of the Pilbara

Publish locally relevant best-practice knowledge on WoNS management techniques


2010 – 2012

Advancing effective management of invasive weeds in the Pilbara

A partnership with the State Natural Resource Management Program, Western Australia


Duration: July 2010 – December 2012

Funding: $210,750

This project focuses on providing the tools and training to local land managers battling the thorny menaces of mesquite and parkinsonia, and to gain experience in successful and strategic weed management by putting these new skills into practice.

Additional demonstration sites will be installed to determine the long-term effectiveness of:

1. High volume foliar spraying of calotropis (Calotropis procera) with 2,4-D ester

2. Mechanical control of hybrid mesquite using specially designed front mounted blade plough

Key outcomes:

• Training provided to 45 project participants in weed identification, practical skills in treating weeds and how to use GPS systems and record weed control programs.

• Practical skill employment opportunities for 45 project participants where 55,000 ha of the Pilbara was controlled of identified weeds

• 3 ha demonstration site plus 13 photographic monitoring sites established on DeGrey Station to measure success of high volume foliar spraying of calotropis

• 1,000 ha demonstration site plus 17 photographic monitoring sites established on Mardie Station trialling the use of a front mounted blade plough on hybrid mesquite


2011 – 2012

Advancing the strategic management of invasive weeds in the Pilbara

A collaborative project with the Royalties for Regions Pilbara Regional Grants Scheme and the Pilbara Development Commission


Duration: November 2011 – November 2012

Funding: $127,800

The focus of this project is to promote best practice management and increase the capacity of land managers to contain and control mesquite and parkinsonia infestations, in an effort to reduce the abundance and density of these invasive weeds. Specifically, the project will seek to train and provide temporary opportunities for station staff to put skills into practice. Additionally, mechanical treatment of tree-form mesquite (Prosopis pallida) and parkinsonia will be trialled in the Ashburton catchment.

Key outcomes:

• 200 man days of control completed on mesquite and parkinsonia within the Pilbara region

• 20 photographic monitoring sites established in targeted infestations where chemical or mechanical treatment undertaken

• Regional strategy for the management of parkinsonia developed

• 20 symptomatic parkinsonia plants sampled for presence of dieback, 20 monitoring sites installed


2009 – 2011

Strategic WoNS management in Pilbara priority wetlands and floodplains

A strategic planning project supported by the Rangelands NRM Coordinating Group under the Caring for our Country program


Duration: December 2009 – December 2011

Funding: $442,327

This projects main focus is to establish the framework for a regionally coordinated mesquite and parkinsonia management program. It will use the current partnerships developed with the mesquite program and build on these to include parkinsonia management throughout the region. It will develop and complete Weed Action Plans for pastoral stations involved in the project, to ensure all parties agree on the priority actions to be undertaken and resources are allocated accordingly. Finally, it will ensure that all known and historical locations of mesquite and parkinsonia are aerially surveyed and mapped across the Pilbara.

Key Outcomes:

• Increased participation in weed management in the Pilbara with the inclusion of 9 additional land managers battling infestations of parkinsonia

• Weed Action Plans completed for 12 pastoral station lessees

• Aerial survey of the Pilbara across 21 pastoral station leases and 5,104 km, with the presence of mesquite and parkinsonia confirmed on 7 and 16 pastoral stations respectively, plus a number of resource tenements

• Early discovery of parkinsonia dieback on the Ashburton River

• Formalisation of data collection methods for mesquite and parkinsonia chemical control programs, including spatial data collection and recording

• On-ground control of identified weeds on 12 pastoral station leases and two industry tenements, totalling over 60,000 ha of weeds treated



Best practice mesquite management in the Rangelands of Western Australia

A project funded by the federal governments Caring for our Country program


Duration: February 2009 – April 2010

Funding: $302,000

A state-wide approach to mesquite management was undertaken to increase the knowledge of Kimberley and Gascoyne infestations of mesquite, and enhance the on-ground control being undertaken across the entire Rangelands region. An aerial survey for mesquite was conducted in the Kimberley region, using historical data to guide areas to be searched. The survey covered 46,000 ha, and detected mesquite across 17,000 on three pastoral stations. This information was used to guide additional treatment of these three infestations in late 2009.

A smaller component of the project was to use data from previous research projects to model the most at-risk habitats for mesquite invasion in the Pilbara. This work was undertaken by CSIRO and resulted in highlighting all major river and creek systems and associated floodplains extremely susceptible to supporting large infestations of mesquite



Management of invasive species – mesquite

An inaugural project jointly conducted with the Rangelands NRM Coordinating Group


Duration: August 2007 – June 2009

Funding: $470,358

Part 1: To formalise and publish the results of best practice management for mesquite in the Pilbara. This included the final collation of data in 2007, with analysis performed by the PMMC and CSIRO. Results indicated that:

• Fire was not recommended as a control tool for hybrid mesquite, as it was too difficult to get a fuel load to sustain a hot consistent fire (even with 5 years of cattle exclusion)

• The Evippe biological control was impacting on mesquite, reducing annual flower production by over 49% and mature pod production by 9% within 5 years of introduction (1999-2005)

• Within populations of mesquite, despite high and sustained levels of Evippe predation, individual mesquite plants will produce large quantities of viable seeds whilst the majority of plants fail to produce any reproductive components

• The seed bank of mesquite within the hybrid population at Mardie Station was significantly varied, with very few seeds found in the soil profile directly within infestations but significantly more seeds found in the soil profile around stock watering points and animal tracks.

Part 2: To progress the effective management of mesquite in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne regions. This included the development of a regional Strategic Mesquite Management Plan outlining the future direction of mesquite management in the Pilbara and completing an aerial survey and mapping program of mesquite within the Gascoyne region.



Developing and implementing best-practice management for fire tolerant mesquite in Western Australia

A research project funded by the Natural Heritage Trust I and II