Emergency alert

Protecting our native bushland against the spread of dieback

dieback front coccinea. (DBCA)

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Six locations along the South Coast have been selected as priority areas for the protection against the introduction of dieback.

Phytophthora dieback is a deadly introduced plant pathogen which has unusual animal, fungal, and plant characteristics.

This water mould lives in soil and attacks the roots of native plants and causes sudden death, which also destroys animal habitats and threatens ecological communities.

Dieback prominent along the Great Southern coast

Project Dieback Officer Mia Hunt said dieback is spread primarily by humans from moving soil.

“When we do roadworks or take out our FWD’s and we pick up some mud and drive to our fishing spot, we can take the disease with us,” she said.

 Ms Hunt said dieback was very prominent along the Great Southern coast.

“We have very sizable infestations, right the way through from Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, Stirling Ranges is pretty famous for the impacts of dieback and there’s some small infestations out in the Fitzgerald River National Park as well.”

There is no effective way to kill dieback and Ms Hunt said the aim of Project Dieback focuses on finding areas to protect against the spread of the disease.

Conscious efforts people can do to prevent the spread of dieback

The western and eastern end of Fitzgerald National Park, western end of Cape Arid National Park, areas of Stokes Nature Reserve, the upper catchment of Oldfield River north-east of Ravensthorpe and Mount Desmond were chosen as priority areas by SCNRM to protect against the disease.

Part of South Coast Natural Resource Management’s Project Dieback, there are conscious efforts people can do to prevent the spread of dieback, such as cleaning shoes and vehicle up entry and exit of an area, staying on designated tracks and trails and respecting signage.

“The key message people should have ringing in their ears when they’re going out in nature is ‘clean on entry, clean on exit’”

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“The key message people should have ringing in their ears when they’re going out in nature is ‘clean on entry, clean on exit’,” Ms Hunt said.

“If you’re going into an area with a clean car, rather than going from one national park into another with mud all over you, then you’ve got much less chance of spreading the disease.

“It’s probably the most impactful thing people can do.”

“It’s probably the most impactful thing people can do.”

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Group boot cleaning. (Mia Hunt)

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