Regional alert on cacti
Pilbara residents are being urged to keep an eye out for invasive cactus species which could form dense infestations and affect the local landscape.
The warning comes after wheel cactus and riverina pear were recently found growing in a Pannawonica garden.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development biosecurity officer Lara Martin said both these opuntioid cacti were declared pest species in WA.
“This sub-family of cactus also includes ornamental plants such as prickly pear, coral cactus and devil’s rope cactus,to name a few,” she said. “The Pilbara environment is well suited to cacti and if left unchecked, the plant has the potential to choke waterways and pastoral land.”
Several years ago, 15 tonnes of prickly weeds were removed as a result of a Pilbara-wide survey and removal program targetting opuntioid cacti in 16 towns.
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“Since this time, occasional reports on social media or by members of the public has seen isolated plants removed and many people are unaware of their invasive nature as garden escapees,” Ms Martin said. DPIRD encouraged people to report any suspected weeds.
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