Pest animals hunt native species and compete with them for food and shelter. They can also harm threatened plant species when they graze and trample native vegetation.
Weeds smother native plants or cover the ground, leaving no room for native plant species and the animals that depend on them to thrive.
Pest animals and weeds also cause financial losses to agriculture and other industries and can damage areas of cultural significance.
The impact of pest animals and weeds on biodiversity is second only to the clearing of native vegetation in terms of the number of species affected.
NSW Invasive Species Plan
The New South Wales Invasive Species Plan 2018-2021 provides the framework for the coordinated management of pest animals and weeds across NSW. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is the lead agency for this plan and the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) works to implement the plan.
The New South Wales Invasive Species Plan has four goals:
- prevent the establishment of new invasive species
- eliminate or prevent the spread of new invasive species
- reduce the impacts of widespread invasive species
- ensure NSW has the ability and commitment to manage invasive species.
Actions recommended in the plan were developed to align with the reporting requirements for the NSW State of the Environment Report.
How is OEH reducing the impacts of pest animals and weeds?
OEH develops policies and strategies for managing pest animals and weeds across New South Wales. Key areas of responsibility include:
- policy and planning
- strategy and program development
- pest animal and weed management on the national parks estate.
The management of pest animals and weeds in NSW is a strategic collaboration between government and communities. OEH contributes through the development, coordination and reporting on programs that reduce the impacts of pest animals and weeds on biodiversity.
The Saving our Species (SoS) program is a strategic initiative, coordinated by OEH, to protect threatened species across NSW. To do this, SoS develops specific strategies to address threats, including key threatening processes such as pest animals and weeds, that are detrimental to biodiversity.
OEH also provides advice on best practice methods to reduce the impacts of pest animals and weeds on biodiversity, and collaborates on cross-tenure strategies such as the Biodiversity Priorities for Widespread Weeds.
In addition, as part of OEH, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) works to reduce the impact of pest animals and weeds in our national parks. NPWS has developed specific regional pest management strategies which are used to guide and implement pest control programs in national parks and reserves.
Pest animals and weeds in our national parks
On lands managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, regional pest management strategies guide best practice control and monitoring.