New frogbit detection alert in the Illawarra region
09 Oct 2023
Residents in the South East region are again being asked to keep an eye out for an invasive weed known as Frogbit following the discovery of a second incursion in the region.
Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum), is a highly invasive freshwater plant native to Central and South America and has now been detected in the Wollongong LGA by an inspector from the Illawarra District Weeds Authority.
South East Local Land Services Regional Weeds Coordinator Alicia Kaylock said this new frogbit detection is a concern, following a detection in the Bomaderry area last month.
"Frogbits aggressive growth can have a devastating impact on aquatic biodiversity as it outcompetes native water plants and reduces light, food and habitat for aquatic animals," Ms Kaylock said.
“The discovery of a second naturalised infestation in the region just 6 weeks after the first is a huge concern and highlights the serious risk Frogbit poses to our aquatic ecosystems."
Frogbit is regulated as Prohibited Matter in NSW. The public is reminded that possession, movement, or sale of frogbit in NSW is illegal under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
Known for its rapid growth and ability to form dense mats that choke waterways, frogbit poses a significant biosecurity threat to NSW.
"Frogbit is a popular aquarium plant and unfortunately is being unlawfully traded online,” Ms Kaylock said.
“Just like the Bomaderry incursion, this incursion in the Illawarra is most likely the result of someone illegally dumping frogbit out of their aquarium or pond into the waterway.
"We are appealing to the local community to help protect our regions waterways by helping to stop the trade and spread of these of these plants.
“If you see frogbit for sale, please report it and never dump unwanted water plants in or near waterways."
Residents and concerned individuals are urged to visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries' WeedWise website for detailed information on frogbit and its identification.
If you suspect you have encountered frogbit in dams, creeks, or waterways, or come across it for sale at markets, shops, or online platforms, immediate action is crucial.
Reach out to your local council's Biosecurity (Weeds) Officer or contact the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline at 1800 680 244 for assistance.
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