Cacti News Items

    Do you have tiger pear (Cylindropuntia aurantiaca)?

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    Tiger pear is extremely hardy, thriving in a range of habitats. This includes the slopes and nearby plains, where large localised infestations still thrive. Segments break from established plants easily and are transported by water, stock and car tyres.

    Tiger pear is a spreading or climbing cactus rarely more than 40 cm high.  The plant consists of numerous segments up to 20cm long. Each segment has large spines up to 5 cm long. Flowers are yellow. Fruits are egg-shaped with a depressed top. They are 2.5–3.5 cm long and are red to purple when ripe. Plants form seeds, however, the species is a sterile hybrid and only spreads vegetatively by segments or fruit which root where they contact the ground.

    How do I control it?

    If you have an infestation of tiger pear contact your local weed officer on how to best control it. If you live in the Narrabri Shire or the Gwydir Shires, you can partake in a cladode swap.

    What is a cladode?

    Opuntia spp. have succulent, jointed cladodes, which are also known as pads or stem segments. Cladodes are generally flat, cylindrical or occasionally fan shaped and green in colour.

    What is a cladode swap?

    A cladode swap is when you bring in clean (no soil or ants) fresh (recently collected), undamaged (cleanly broken off) cladodes (segments) and the weed officer will swap you for cladodes infected with Dactylopius austrinus, a cochineal species that specifically targets tiger pear. You can then release these infected cladodes in tiger pear plants that are up wind of your core infestation. As a result, the wind will then disperse the crawlers (juvenile cochineal) onto the surrounding plants. Make sure you securely place the cladodes in the plants by using a pair of long handled tongs.

    Who should I contact?

    Narrabri Shire Council area Weed Officer Clare Felton-Taylor on 0427 294 771 or Chris Watkins on 0429 202 205

    Gwydir Shire Council area Weed Officer Scott McLachlan on 0428 305 364 or Adrian Wood 0448 181 321

    Cochineal continue to have a significant impact despite good rain

    Mat, Andy and Dave from Castlereagh Macquarie County Council, Royce from Ecological Horizon Consulting and Andrew from Department of Primary Industries (DPI) were out in the field monitoring the Hudson pear sites in May. They acquired the usual ecological data including dispersal, density, and impact for the two long-term monitoring sites as well as drone multispectral imagery at four sites. They also collected regression data which is where the plant size verse the number of cladodes is recorded. Fresh Hudson pear cladodes were collected for the cochineal being reared at the DPI Orange facility.

    Overall, they continue to record fantastic results from all the release sites and are observing the cochineal doing great work in moving further onto new plants despite the cooler and wetter conditions. General vegetation recovery due to good rains was also significant.

      Photo: Andrew McConnachie, NSW DPIPhoto: Andrew McConnachie, NSW DPI

     New insect bring hope in Hudson pear fight

    Once again the biocontrol Dactylopius tomentosus (californica var. parkeri) commonly known as cochineal for Hudson pear, Cylindropuntia pallida was in the spotlight, as Lightning Ridge had a visit from Minister Adam Marshall last week.

    In collaboration with Department of Primary Industries Senior Researcher Andrew McConnachie, Walgett Shire Council Weed Officers Mat Savage and Andrea Fletcher, North West Local Land Service Regional Weed Officer Pete Dawson and Northern Slopes Landcare NW Cacti Control Coordinator Jo Skewes, they were given the opportunity to show case their hard work in developing a program that delivers an effective on ground biocontrol whilst working with the community and creating partnerships with local and state departments and organisations.  A program that can be utilised as a benchmark for future projects.

    To find out more about how you can get your hands on some biocontrol for Hudson pear contact Biosecurity Weeds Officer on 0428 462 060 or NW Cacti Control Coordinator on 0402 014 769.

    Releasing the Hounds on Hudson pear - a community biological control management program, funded through the NSW Government's Office for Environment and Heritage. 

    Vote For Us Tile Community Choices

    Voting for the Essential Energy Community Choices program is now open.

    Vote now to help us receive up to $2500 to go towards Harrisia cactus education and awareness!

    Northern Slopes Landcare’s goal is to provide ecosystem services in a changing climate to promote a healthy, better protected, professionally managed and resilient environment.

    Harrisia cactus has infested approx. 33,500 ha in NSW and approx. 820,000 ha in NSW & QLD. NSLA’s NW Cacti Control Coordinator continuously supports the community with information, forums and coordinated control programs. Engagement and supporting landholders with control options and best practice management has been successful. By bridging the communication gap and feeding knowledge and information back into the community, motivation and incentive has not been lost.

    NSLA would like your support to develop education and awareness resources to the community on Harrisia cactus.

    Your vote will determine which groups receive grants and how much they could receive – get your friends and family involved because the more votes received, the more money these organisations will receive. Give a big heart in your community a little boost and vote for Zone 12 - Northern Slopes Landcare Association to make a difference in your community today.

    You can vote once each day. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, June 18, 2020 (AEST). 

    Vote Today!

    Vote For Us Tile Community ChoicesVoting for the Essential Energy Community Choices program is now open.

    Vote now to help us receive up to $2500 to go towards the Hudson Pear Spray Group!

    The Hudson Pear Spray Group, once a month come together and use their own resources to spray a network of properties in the core infestation. Members are not only property owners but residents of neighbouring towns that do not want the cacti in their backyard as they have seen how devastating it can be.

    Distribution of Hudson pear occupies 100,000 ha in the Lightning Ridge and surrounding area. It spreads by cladode attachments to stock, wildlife and vehicles. It grows vegetatively setting roots into soil. Impact potential is devastating to native flora and fauna habitat and populations.

     Including not limited to the following resources needed to keep the group active

    • Refurbishing and maintenance of equipment
    • Equipment costs and replacements
    • Catering for the monthly gathering of spraying

    The group use their own funds for repairs, replacements and always provide a meal after finishing the day of spraying out of their own pockets. The day provides a common ground for the like-minded community member to share ideas, thoughts and to mentally know that they are not the only ones battling with this weed and support is available in each other.

    Your vote will determine which groups receive grants and how much they could receive – get your friends and family involved because the more votes received, the more money these organisations will receive. Give a big heart in your community a little boost and vote for Zone 1 - North West Plains Sustainability Group to make a difference in your community today.

    You can vote once each day. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, June 18, 2020 (AEST). 

    Vote Today!

    MRF Open 27May2020 Final

    Do you have Hudson pear on your property or mining claim?

    The new biocontrol mass-rearing facility at Lightning Ridge is stocked with the Hudson pear cochineal and they are ready to be released.

    Contact Mat Savage on 0427 253 463 to collect your plastic tub (for collecting clean Hudson pear segments - no ants or soil). Swap your tub of clean segments for a tub of cochineal-infected ssegments. Mat will advise you on how to release the cochineal and record the release data. 

    The biocontrol for Cylindropuntia pallida also known as Hudson pear has been released. The Dactylopius tomentosus (californica var. parkeri) commonly known as cochineal is one of six lineages which is being used to specifically target Hudson pear. Through collaboration with Department of Primary Industries Senior Researcher Andrew McConnachie, Walgett Shire Council Weed Officers Mat Savage and Andrea Fletcher, North West Local Land Service Regional Weed Officer Pete Dawson and Northern Slopes Landcare NW Cacti Control Coordinator Jo Skewes, they all have been able to create a program that delivers an effective on ground biocontrol. Another tool in the toolbox to help control the core infestations of Hudson pear.

    To find out more about how you can get your hands on some biocontrol for Hudson pear contact Walgett Shire Weed Officer Mat Savage on 0427 253 463 or NW Cacti Control Coordinator Jo Skewes on 0402 014 769.

    Releasing the Hounds on Hudson pear - a community biological control management program, funded through the NSW Government's Office for Environment and Heritage. 

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    Phone: (02) 6724 2052

    Postal Address: Po Box 108
    Bingara NSW 2404

    Office: 35B Maitland Street
    Bingara NSW 2404

    Anne: ralf@nsla.net.au
    Shelley: admin@nsla.net.au
    Jo: nwcactus@nsla.net.au
    Julie: coodinator@nsla.net.au

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