Exotic vines and scramblers

Exotic vines and scramblers are widespread in NSW. Infestations are common in coastal areas where they threaten a number of native species and ecological communities.

Exotic vines and scramblers have significant negative effects on biodiversity. The invasion and establishment of exotic vines and scramblers is listed as a key threatening process (KTP) in New South Wales. In 2012, species listed as key threatening processes were also listed as Weeds of National Significance (WoNS), including: 

Why are exotic vines and scramblers a problem?

Exotic vines and scramblers smother native vegetation and seedlings. Some vine species, such as Cat's claw creeper, are capable of killing mature trees.

They have also been identified as a threat to animals species including the Golden-tipped bat, the Long-nosed potoroo and the Black-breated button quail.

  • Asparagus weeds are aggressive vines and scramblers that invade subtropical and temperate bushlands and coastal ecosystems of Australia. 
  • Cat’s claw creeper is now common in tropical and subtropical regions of NSW and Queensland, particularly within river bank or wetland areas (riparian systems) and rainforests. 
  • Madeira vine is usually found in tropical and subtropical regions of eastern Australia, where it has invaded rainforests, tall open forests, wet sclerophyll forests and riparian systems. However, it has also been recorded in milder temperate areas. 
  • Blackberry is found in cooler climates in south-eastern NSW.

Find out more about how these weeds are managed across NSW using the NSW Department of Primary Industries' WeedWise search.

Managing exotic vines and scramblers in our parks

Exotic vines can be difficult to control and require long-term control with regular follow-up programs. Depending on the weed, herbicides and mechanical removal may be effective. Biological control is also used to tackle these invasive species. For example, the Madeira vine beetle (Plectonycha correntina) has been used as a biological control agent for madeira vine at numerous sites in Queensland and NSW since 2011 and significant leaf damage has been observed. Read more about this biological control agent.

The National parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) uses regional pest management strategies to carry out control for asparagus weed species and blackberry in our national parks.