Porongrups after the 2005 fireRegeneration after the fireFriends of the Porongurup on a weeding dayChecking the results from a blackberry rust trial

Porongurup Weed Project

The Porongurup weed control project is a collaborative effort between the community, landowners, the Friends of the Porongurup Range, OHCG, South Coast NRM, the Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Department of Agriculture and Food.

The project started in 2007 after a major fire burned 85% or 2,500ha of the National Park and 2,500ha outside the Park. The weed project outside the Park is coordinated through the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group. The project aims to create a 5km buffer free of declared and environmental weeds around the National Heritage listed National Park. The Department of Environment and Conservation coordinates a weed control project inside the Porongurup National Park. Declared and environmental weeds impact on biodiversity and conservation values in the Porongurup Range and surrounding area. Some of these weeds also pose a direct threat to a number of threatened flora, some of which are only found in the Porongurup Range.

A Steering Group was established by the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group project coordinators. The Steering Group includes the Senior Weed Scientist from the Department of Agriculture and Food in Albany, the Weed Coordinator from the Department of Environment and Conservation in the Porongurup, as well as representatives from the community, the Friends of the Porongurup Range, the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group, South Coast Natural Resource Management, and Oyster Harbour Catchment Group coordinators for the Porongurup weed control project.

In October 2009, South Coast Natural Resource Management was able to secure further funding for the Porongurup weed control project surrounding the Park through the Federal Government’s Caring for our Country scheme to control Weeds of National Significance (WONS).

Weeds of National Significance in the Porongurup area are Blackberry, Lantana, Bridal Creeper and Willows. The grant is to protect biodiversity and conservation values in the National Heritage listed Porongurup National Park and to protect rare and endangered flora and fauna.

Priority weed species which have been controlled through the project are introduced Eastern States Wattles, Blackberries, Taylorina, Dolichos, Arum Lilies and Red Valerian. Many other weeds were also mapped and controlled. Through the mapping it was found that many escaped garden plants including Polygala, Forget-me-not, Agapanthus and Broom were invading large areas of the National Park and remnant vegetation on private land.

From 2007 – 2011 around 800ha of weeds were controlled around the Porongurup National Park and in the Ranges Link project, which connects the Porongurup with the Stirling Range National Park. In addition, the Department of Environment and Conservation controlled weeds within an area of around 450ha inside the National Park.