Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Balanggarra Rangers tackle noxious weed in north Kimberley

Each month, we will be focusing on a successful project that has been funded by the State Natural Resource Management (NRM) office.

[May 2013]

As part of a State NRM funded project, Balanggarra Rangers tackled noxious weed infestations along the north Kimberley coast.

Balanggarra Rangers facilitated by the Kimberley Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (KLC) focused the weed control program on biodiversity hotspots along the mouth of the Berkeley River and Bertram Cove.

Travelling to the remote locations by boat and surveying the area by helicopter, the rangers monitored and recorded infestations of the noxious weed calatropis (rubber bush), which can threaten sea-turtle nesting habitats and invade coastal ecosystems.

Balanggara Ranger, James Birch said: “It’s really important that we eradicate the calatropis as it spreads easily, competes against native plants and threatens the habitats of native wildlife.”

During the weed control project we also used a helicopter to survey more than 700 kilometres along the coast and we will use the information we gathered in our future management plans to make sure Balanggarra country remains healthy.

As part of the weed control project, Balanggarra Rangers further developed their skills in the areas of chemical safety and management, occupational health and safety, GIS mapping training and chainsaw safety.

The project also enabled Traditional Owners, who went on the weed eradication trip, to reconnect with and revisit remote areas of their country, while assisting in the transfer of knowledge from elders to rangers.

Calotropis is a large shrub or small tree that grows up to four metres high with waxy stems and leaves that contain a milky sap.