Lake Woods Wetland

About the area

Lake Woods is located just outside of Elliot on the western edge of the Barkly Tableland. Lake Woods is one of the largest inland draining freshwater lakes in the Northern Territory and is internationally important for waterbird migration, breeding and populations .Lake woods ids an ephemeral wetland supporting over 100,000 waterbirds in the monsoon season and is also the largest area of lignum swamp in the NT and tropical Australia. Lake Woods is regard as an important conservation area by the conservation group Birdlife International.

The weed threat

The most significant threat to the biodiversity values of this HCVAE is the WONS (Weeds of National Sifhnificance) species, Parkinsonia aculeata. Parkinsonia is very invasive, has great potential for spread causing severe economic and environmental impacts by displacing native vegetation, lowering water quality habitat for animals and providing refuge for feral animals.

We oversee a Parkinsonia weed control program that covers over 1000 km2 of Lake Woods and its catchment in the centre of the Northern Territory. Territory Weed Management have provided the majority of weed control services for this program since it started in 2009. Murray runs a professional crew and is able to tailor his services to our needs. Our monitoring shows just how effective his work is on the ground. We can rely on him to deliver, but also to let us know if and when problems arise. Allan Andrews, Consolidated Pastoral Company

What we did

Wetlands are particularly vulnerable as parkinsonia can dam watercourse, cause erosion, lower water tables and take over vast areas of floodplain.

To combat this invasive prickle bush 6 year control program was launched in 2011 and we have been engaged implement the herbicide control program.

We utilise a variety of equipment and herbicide application methods control parkinsonia. The most common treatment has been basal bark treatment of individual plants. Basal bark treatment is very specific ensuring only parknsonia is treated. There is no off target damage. It is a most effective treatment, particularly along the watercourse and around the lake to ensure there is no damage to the majestic river red gums and coolibahs so important to the area.

The program involves a team of 4 to 6 people working progressively down the watercourse and around the lake. The area is very remote. Much of the work is over an hours drive from the homestead and consequently our team camp on site to maximise efficiency. Quad bikes, ATV’s and 4 wd vehicles are used on the project.

Since the inception of the program over 95% of all plants have been controlled. Nearly all mature seeding plants have been controlled. Current control is now concentrated on the large number of seedlings and juvenile plants that emerge following death of the parent plant.

Project snapshot

  • Location Lake Woods Wetland, Elliot
  • Workforce 4-6

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