Environmental issues

Pests and weeds


The draft national Plan to Protect Environmental Assets from Lantana provides a strategic framework for lantana management so that management is targeted to sites where the biodiversity benefit will be the greatest. This involves a triage system for managing lantana which enables decisions based on the urgency of control relative to the degree of threat posed to biodiversity versus the likelihood of achieving a successful conservation outcome as a result of control. This triage system is underpinned by the two-step approach, of identifying the assets at risk and assessing priority sites for control irrespective of land tenure. The above process allows management to be directed towards high priority sites that contain the highest priority assets.

Land managers and other stakeholders should use this Plan when developing their lantana control programs that are aimed at protecting biodiversity. The success of the Plan will rely on the support of those who can help implement it. Seeking support from current and new partners, including nominations of additional sites for management, will be an ongoing process. This plan will be implemented over 5 years. After this period the plan should be reviewed.

At all high priority control sites, a site-specific management plan should be prepared. Site-specific Management Plans will need to be completed to account for specific site variations as well as to help land managers to establish a five-year management strategy for their site. Site plans are to be completed before control is initiated. An example plan has been prepared for your assistance. If you need more help preparing your site management plan, contact the Lantana Plan Coordinator.

Licences and Permits

In NSW, a Section 132C Scientific Licence may be required and can be applied for individually through DECC or by completing a Site-specific Management Plan and submitting it to the Lantana Plan Coordinator, who holds a generic licence. In Queensland, when undertaking management on private property, Vegetation Management Permits may be required.

A staged approach to lantana control

At many sites the density and area infested by lantana is such that it cannot be controlled in a single control event/action. The control of lantana at these sites needs to occur in stages.

The first stage is the removal of lantana and other weed species from the immediate vicinity of the species, population or ecological community at risk. This will reduce the direct threat in the short term.

The second stage is the expansion of stage one to cover a larger area of the lantana infestation at the site. In this stage, the removal of lantana should be prioritised to areas containing suitable habitat for the priority species, populations and ecological communities to expand into in the future and decrease the threat by providing a bigger buffer zone between lantana and the threatened entity. Stage two also involves the follow-up control of lantana seedlings that germinate within all previously controlled areas (including stage one areas).

The third and subsequent stages involve the further expansion of earlier stages with the aim of removing all lantana from the site and surrounding areas to prevent re-invasion. This stage also includes the continual follow-up control of lantana seedlings in all previously controlled stages/areas of the site (i.e. stages one and two areas).

The staged approach must:

  • be planned before any control is undertaken, with all stages clearly marked and the timing of each stage determined, preferably incorporated into a site-specific management plan, and
  • only control areas for which there are resources available to undertake the subsequent stages, including most importantly the follow-up treatment of seedlings. Irrespective of the initial control measure implemented, follow-up treatments are required to control recruitment.

Control of lantana using best practice management

The current management and control options for lantana in Australia can be found in the lantana management manual. In addition, the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management has produced guidelines for lantana management. A guide to best management practices, Using Herbicides on Lantana can also be downloaded here.

Site managers will also need to consider the effect of their management techniques on off-target species. Landscape control measures (such as fire) may not be appropriate in Stage 1 of control especially where such control options may have negative impacts on the biodiversity at risk. Stage 1 is the removal of lantana and other weed species from the immediate vicinity of the threatened species.

Controlling other weeds

To ensure that other weeds do not invade or benefit from the control of lantana, a list of such weeds has been compiled. Control of these species is also recommended at sites where lantana management is undertaken. Follow-up control should also be targeted towards both lantana and these other weed species. Such weed species are likely to pose the same threat to the native biodiversity at risk.

Monitoring the response of lantana control

The site management plan will contain information on the monitoring programs that need to be put in place to assess the effectiveness of lantana control programs in reducing the density of lantana, its impact on native species, and the recovery of those species at risk.

As part of the implementation of the Bitou Bush TAP, monitoring guidelines have been developed. These guidelines have been adopted for this national Lantana Plan. The monitoring guidelines provide a standardised methodology across a range of differing resource and skill levels to measure the response of the weed to control and the response of the native plant species at risk.

Page last updated: 26 February 2011