Be alert to stop dieback

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Susceptible plants such as Banksias and Lambertias succumb to the disease while non-susceptible species right next to them stay green and healthy
Camera IconSusceptible plants such as Banksias and Lambertias succumb to the disease while non-susceptible species right next to them stay green and healthy Credit: Kyle Townsend

Those getting outdoors and into nature this summer are urged to think more seriously about their movements to stop the spread of a disease that is killing the region’s biodiversity.

Dieback has affected more than 1 million hectares in WA and can suddenly kill up to 40 per cent of native species such as banksia and grasstrees.

The south coastal region, especially Albany, has the perfect wet and warm conditions for the soil-borne water-mould to spread.

But it is humans who are the main culprits for spreading the disease — on the bottom of their shoes, vehicles and equipment they take with them into the bush.

South Coast NRM is working with people and organisations across the region through Project Dieback to stop the disease spreading further.

Project officer Mia Hunt said people could take simple measures to stop the spread of the deadly hitch-hiker.

“We need everyone to be careful with hygiene and it is great practice to always assume you are in an area that is unaffected and be careful about potentially spreading it there.”

She said there are lots of signs in place in local spots, which have been put there for a reason.

“Those signs are always in strategic area where there has been a dieback front. If there is a boot-cleaning station it is there for a reason and take the time to use it.

“One of the main things is to stay on track and also avoid those areas in wet conditions because muddy conditions mean more mud-stuck places.”

The program is funded by State NRM and more information can be found on dieback.net.au.

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