Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Developing management priorities

Determining priority widespread environmental weeds

Madeira vine infestation

Madeira vine infestation

NSW has over 1650 naturalised plant species, many of which pose a significant threat to biodiversity. A report on the impact of weeds on threatened biodiversity in NSW identified 127 weeds threatening 204 species. For each CMA, a dataset of widespread weeds was collated using information from existing priorities identified in a number of documents including, but not limited to:

Workshops were held in the then 13 CMAs to determine regional priorities for weed control. Representatives of major stakeholders in the region and experts with local knowledge of weed impacts and sites under threat from widespread weeds attended. Participants considered the current impact of each widespread weed species on biodiversity in the region and assigned a priority of high, medium or low.

View the finalised lists of high priority widespread weeds for each CMA region by consulting the CMA-specific Biodiversity Priorities Widespread Weeds (BPWW) strategy.

Determining biodiversity at risk

Zieria involucrata, a threatened species at risk from weeds

Zieria involucrata, a threatened species at risk from weeds

Zieria involucrata, a threatened species at risk from weeds

Acronychia littoralis, a threatened species at risk from weeds

Knowing the weeds that pose the threat to biodiversity is only part of the solution to reducing their impact on native species. Identifying the biodiversity at risk from these weeds is essential for ensuring effective weed management. This is a difficult task and a lack of quantitative studies investigating weed impacts has resulted in a limited understanding of what is under threat and how to manage them.

The Weed Impacts to Native Species (WINS) system was developed to identify the native species at risk from plant invasions. The process involves four steps including a literature review, collation of local knowledge, evaluation of an interim list of species at risk and a final ranking of the native species at risk using a model. This system was used effectively to identify species under threat from bitou bush and lantana invasion in NSW.

The WINS approach was modified to consider the impacts from a suite of weed species and prioritise the biodiversity at risk within each region. Refer to the relevant CMA-specific BPWW strategy to view the final list of biodiversity threatened by the high priority widespread weeds.

Selecting and prioritising sites for control




Specific locations within each region where weed control will have the greatest benefit for biodiversity were identified and ranked. Presence of a weed at a particular site does not mean that it is a current threat or that control is an option. Final prioritisation of sites considered a range of factors, including the biodiversity at risk, the degree of impact of weeds at individual sites and the feasibility of control to ensure that programs are targeted towards sites where the probability of success is high.

All stakeholders in each CMA region were invited to nominate areas of high biodiversity value currently under threat from the priority widespread weeds. Information from site nominations was used to rank sites for control to ensure long term conservation outcomes.

A triage approach to managing widespread weeds to conserve biodiversity was adopted by assessing and prioritising native biodiversity and sites for control. This process allows for management to be directed towards high priority sites that contain the highest priority biodiversity. This site prioritisation is based on the model developed for the Bitou Bush and Boneseed Threat Abatement Plan and Lantana Plan and considers the biodiversity value of a site and the probability of success of the weed control program. For more information on the site ranking process see the BPWW Statewide Framework.

For list of priority sites please contact the relevant CMA or contact us.

Download the map of high priority sites (highpriorityBPWWsitesmap.pdf, 282KB) across New South Wales as at August 2010.

Page last updated: 25 November 2013