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Pest plants and animals

What are pest plants and animals?

Feral pig and damaged wet heath. Photo: Queensland Government.

Feral pig and damaged wet heath. Photo: Queensland Government.

Pest plant and animals are species that occur beyond their natural range and have the potential to cause significant adverse economic, environmental and social impacts. Pest plants are often referred to as "weeds" and pest animals as "feral animals".

Pest plants invade natural communities and can replace native plants and significantly change ecosystems.

Pest animals can have a major impact on native animals by predation, competition for food and by damaging ecosystems.

See Useful links for more information about specific pest plants and animals.

How does QPWS manage pest plants and animals?

QPWS actively manages pest plants and animals in parks, forests and other areas gazetted under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Forestry Act 1959, in order to protect the biodiversity and natural processes in these areas.

In common with all other landholders, QPWS also has a responsibility under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 to control declared plant and animal pests on its lands. Under this legislation, the department has developed a Pest Management Plan (PDF, 187K) as a framework to guide its pest management activities. QPWS has also developed a Pest Management System to facilitate pest management planning and to guide on-ground pest management activities.

Pest management objectives

The primary objectives for QPWS in managing pests are to:

  • protect natural and cultural values, including threatened species and ecosystems, by eradicating pests or significantly reducing impacts
  • prevent the introduction or spread of any declared plant or animal on the QPWS estate
  • undertake pest control programs in cooperation with neighbouring landholders, other State agencies and local government in accordance with the QPWS Good Neighbour Policy

Pest management priorities

Poisoning tree pear. Photo Queensland Government.

Poisoning tree pear. Photo Queensland Government.

QPWS has identified the following priorities:

  • Class 1 pests under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.
  • Pest plants identified in national programs such as Weeds of National Significance (WONS), and significant environmental weeds including mother of millions, giant rats tail grass, Madeira vine, sicklepod and groundsel.
  • Pest animals including feral pigs, feral goats, feral horses, wild dogs and foxes.

Community involvement

QPWS is committed to working with the rural community in managing and eradicating pests across the landscape.

QPWS supports Landcare and Integrated Catchment Management initiatives including the involvement of its local and regional staff in forums and field activities to increase community awareness of pest issues

QPWS staff participate in the development of local government area pest management plans, to facilitate an integrated and co-ordinated approach to pest management. Planning at local government level is helping to prioritise pest control activities on QPWS estate.

What can I do to help prevent the spread of pests?

Visitors to parks and forests can help prevent the spread of pest plants by following some basic pest plant hygiene principles.

  • Drive only on established and designated tracks - seeds can become lodged in vehicle tyres and radiators.
  • Clean your clothing, shoes and camping gear before leaving a campground - seeds can attach to shoes, socks and velcro strips on tents.
  • Keep your boat and trailer free of plant material - aquatic pest plants are capable of growing from parts of plants and not necessarily just from seeds.
  • Don't pick or carry flowers or plants from one area to another - particularly into a park or forest.

Useful links

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Further information

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Last updated
13 August 2015