March 28, 2013
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is continuing surveillance for silverleaf nightshade in the Glenelg Hopkins catchment after finding a seedling on a property at Mepunga. DPI Biosecurity Officer Mark Doueal said silverleaf nightshade is classified as a regionally prohibited weed and is of particular concern for the Mepunga area as it has the potential to negatively impact on agricultural, economic and biodiversity values. “Seeds and root pieces capable of forming shooting buds can be spread by birds,” he said. “If left untreated it can establish large infestations relatively quickly. Mr Doueal said silverleaf nightshade was currently only known to occur on one property in the Mepunga area. “DPI periodically visits the property to monitor the control works undertaken by the landholder who has significantly reduced the infestation since it was first identified in 2009. “This reduction has been achieved through the landowner’s vigilance, ongoing monitoring and prompt treatments when required,” he said, “DPI officers carried out inspections over summer to and gauge the success of applied treatments. The process also enabled us to keep in regular contact with the affected landholder.” Mr Doueal said DPI was also looking for the community’s assistance and support to report any other weed infestations suspected to be silverleaf nightshade, that may exist within the Mepunga area. “Help is being sought from the community to broaden our surveillance capacity and to aid in the mapping and recording of all localised infestations to help eradicate this weed species from the Glenelg Hopkins region.” Landowners have a legal responsibility to manage pest plants and animals on their property to ensure they don’t adversely affect agricultural production on neighbouring farms or impact on the natural environment. Where regionally prohibited weeds are involved landowners must take all reasonable steps to eradicate them when they occur on their lands.