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Weeds and pests

Most plants that are considered weeds are fast growing, opportunistic species that generally grow from clippings or have seeds that are easily dispersed by either animals or wind. Many popular garden species can become weeds when they escape from the backyard. Byron Shire has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Australia due to having rich, fertile soils, regular rainfall and mild conditions. Unfortunately these same conditions are also ideal for weed growth.

Coastal Morning Glory is an introduced vine that can completely smother native plants.

Managing weeds involves consideration of many issues including correct identification of the species, the variety of treatment options available, maintenance and any habitat values the weed may be temporarily providing.

For example, Camphor Laurel can provide important canopy cover for native vegetation growth, protection from soil erosion and food and shelter for native species. In many situations, it can be preferable to remove mature Camphor Laurel trees gradually and allow regeneration of native species.

Byron Shire Council has developed detailed information on best practice techniques published as Bush regeneration guidelines and Weed profiles to assist with managing weeds.

Cane toads are one of the many invasive animal species that are impacting on the biodiversity of Byron Shire. Photo. Steve Wilson

Pest animals are animals that have been introduced to Australia that have a negative impact on native plants and animals. Predators such as Foxes, Cats and Dogs prey on native animals and compete with some native species. Some pest animals, such as Indian Mynas are prolific breeders that can use valuable food and nesting resources of native species.  Other pest species, such as the Cane Toad prey on native species and can poison native predators that attempt to eat them.

Pest animal control methods need to be carefully planned and implemented to take into account issues such as potential impacts on native species, humane handling and treatment, safe handling and appropriate euthanasia options.. 

Byron Shire Council is actively involved in weed removal and pest control through a number of projects including: