Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Elephants bring in the alligators

MEDIA RELEASE

1 July 2013

Elephants bring in the alligators

Circus elephants are believed to have been indirectly responsible for a large outbreak of the notorious pest plant alligator weed near Hamilton recently.

The unusual story is being highlighted by Waikato Regional Council at the start of Biosecurity Month which begins today.

“Alligator weed is a dangerous pest plant which we’re trying to keep out of the Waikato because it can spread really quickly, taking over pasture, crowding out native plants and choking waterways, hurting both the economy and the environment,” said pest management committee chair Laurie Burdett.

“This case involving elephants shows just how careful and vigilant people have to be to help keep alligator weed out.”

The four hectare outbreak of alligator weed on the outskirts of the city was found in April this year by a spray contractor. The contractor had ironically been to an alligator weed identification workshop run by the council the week before.

During discussions with the landowner about the find, council biosecurity staff learnt from him that the alligator weed started sprouting after a load of elephant dung was purchased as a fertiliser from a circus that visited Hamilton in 2007.

Subsequent checks uncovered the suggestion that about 60 per cent of what elephants eat is excreted virtually untouched. Alligator weed is fairly common in Northland and often turns up in cheap hay or silage from there, and it was clearly possible the elephants had consumed such feed.

The idea that the alligator weed had come from the dung was further firmed up when alligator weed was found in the spot where a neighbour had used some of the dung in their vegetable garden, and on a lawn where the dung had been placed before going on the garden.

Subsequently, historic circus sites across Hamilton have been checked for alligator weed with nothing found so far. Still people are being encouraged to contact the council if they have used elephant dung fertiliser in recent years.

Since alligator weed is a “total control pest plant” to be eradicated anywhere in the region, the council has begun work to remove it from the site on the outskirts of Hamilton, with this work expected to carry on for a number of years as the weed is fast growing and notoriously difficult to eradicate.

Because of the risk of accidental spread, people are encouraged not to try to control alligator weed themselves if they discover it. Instead they are urged to call 0800 BIOSECURITY (0800 246 732) and let the council handle it.

Alligator weed is a low-growing, non-woody perennial. Its leaves are generally arranged in opposite pairs or whorls, spaced at intervals along hollow horizontal stems. Stem and leaf sizes vary greatly. They can be very compact when the weed is in lawns or grazed pasture but much larger when growing in water.

·       Our picture shows some alligator weed.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog