Managing the impact of lantana on biodiversity
The Office of Environment and Heritage and Biosecurity Queensland in conjunction with the National Lantana Management Group developed a National Plan to Protect Environmental Assets from Lantana. Environmental assets are defined here as native species, populations, Regional Ecosystems and ecological communities. This Plan was part of the implementation of the Weeds of National Significance (WONS) Lantana (Lantana camara L.) Strategic Plan 2012–17 and established a national framework to guide and coordinate Australia's response to Lantana camara (lantana) invasion in native ecosystems. It identified the research, management and other actions needed to ensure the long-term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by the invasion of lantana.
The plan established national conservation priorities for the control of lantana and is consistent with actions in the Australian Weeds Strategy which outlines the need for asset protection for the management of widespread weeds. The main aim of the lantana plan is to minimise the impact of lantana on threatened native species and ecological communities and to prevent further species and ecological communities from becoming threatened, by:
- developing a strategic framework for targeting lantana control to areas where the biodiversity benefits will be the greatest,
- promoting best practice management
- monitoring the effectiveness of control programs in terms of the recovery of threatened biodiversity
- fostering community education, involvement and awareness
- identifying and filling knowledge gaps where possible.
The national plan to protect environmental assets from lantanaPrior to the development of the Plan to Protect Environmental Assets from Lantana, the native species and ecological communities at risk from lantana invasion were not known on a national scale. In order to abate the threat of lantana invasion to native biodiversity, the specific biodiversity at risk needed to be identified. Assessing the impact of weeds is notoriously difficult as there are few scientific studies which determine species at risk, given the lengthy time periods they take to complete, and the diversity and number of species at risk can be large.
In order to develop the Lantana Plan, 2 major steps were completed:
- determination of the biodiversity at risk from lantana
- assessment of priority sites for control.