Helicopter Returns to Clean Up Weeds July - August 2016

North Coast Local Land Services has funded a second round of surveillance and spot spraying of weeds on cliff lines using the helicopter lance spray apparatus. Program updates are soon to be provided. This funding is advancing conservation outcomes from the initial operation in 2015, see Making Weeds History on Lord Howe Island, June 2015. The aim is to keep Sea Cliffs for Seabirds not Bitou Bush or Ground Asparagus. 

Helicopter fitted with a lance spray apparatus

The lance spray apparatus will enable targeted application of weeds on cliff lines which are inaccessible or otherwise hazardous for alternative access.

Ground asparagus and bitou bush are the primary targets. Both species, if left unchecked, will form dense monocultures which exclude all other plant life. Dense infestations of these weeds are now uncommon on the island, however work is needed to deplete infestations on cliffs. This project will complement efforts by ground crews and rope access over the past decades.

Ground asparagus on Transit Hill in 2011. Widespread dense infestations of this weed are now uncommon on Lord Howe Island. It’s important we keep up the effort to make the island ground asparagus free.

The island’s unique scenery and biodiversity are an important resource for nature based tourism. Detection and control of outlier weeds on cliffs will consolidate and progress the weed eradication program which aims to protect the Island’s World Class environmental values.

The operational period is planned for three days from 23rd July to 30th August depending on weather and seabird activity.   

For any queries regarding this operation or for further information on the results in Protecting Paradise from weeds please see Weed Eradication Program page or contact the Board on 02 65632066.