Monaro farmers urged to report suspected Orange Hawkweed sightings

Local Land Services is strongly encouraging farmers in the Monaro to keep an eye out for the bright orange flower belonging to the highly invasive daisy, Orange Hawkweed.

It first appeared on the Monaro in late 2017 and land managers are being asked to be on the lookout for this weed and report any possible sightings as it continues to flower during the warmer months, said Local Land Services Agricultural Advisor, Jo Powells.

“In recent years, we have had important sightings of Orange Hawkweed reported by farmers, anglers and hikers which have allowed us to quickly respond and safely remove the plants before they spread any further,” Ms Powells said.

“With a handful of plants being found in the north-west region of the Monaro since 2017, we need landholders to report any new suspected sightings to their local control authority for invasive weeds, the Snowy Monaro Regional Council or Local Land Services.”

Orange Hawkweed rosettes can closely resemble some paddock plants, however the cluster of bright, daisy-like orange flowers grouped at the top of a hairy stem is unique to the weed.

The plant’s rosette leaves are also covered on both sides with long hairs.

Hawkweed poses a significant risk to both farmland and conservation areas with modelling work suggesting a potential impact area of up to 27 million hectares of land across Southern Australia.

“Whilst there is a significant Hawkweed eradication project underway involving National Parks and Wildlife Service, Snowy Monaro Regional Council and Local Land Services, independent sightings from land managers are crucial in helping to identify, isolate and hopefully eradicate this weed.

“Its aggressive nature means that it can easily compete with both introduced and native pastures and establish rapidly in woodlands.

“Examples like New Zealand where it dominates more than 500,000 hectares of grasslands on the south island, show us that complacency could be costly.”

If you suspect you have found Orange Hawkweed:

  • do not attempt to dig up, move or destroy the plant yourself
  • take pictures of the plant (close up) and of the surrounding landscape
  • mark the plant site with flagging tape, marker peg, branch, etc
  • take a grid reference or GPS waypoint or draw a map
  • record the nearest track, creek, driveway, water trough or other landmarks
  • contact Snowy Monaro Regional Council biosecurity staff (1300 365 365) or the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) to report the finding.

It is a requirement under the Biosecurity Act (2015) to report these plants immediately. This will allow staff to quickly confirm possible locations of these plants and commence control procedures at no cost to the land manager.

Orange hawkweed

Orange hawkweed

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