Works have concluded at Glen Rock National Park. Below is a snapshot of the outcome:
Works began in the western portion of the park, basically were the road ends. From that point to the first creek of Blackfellow Creek no Moth vine were present. Immediately south of the crossing was the first signs of Moth vine. Moth vine presence was fairly consistent from that point to the Top Dip Yards, with only a few location where both mature, young and juvenile species where present in higher numbers. Almost always these locations are vegetation islands where the vegetation is thick enough to prevent wind dispersal of the seeds.
From Top Dip Yards to Abbotts Yards, the creeks splits multiple times, in some cases three times so searching 3 creeks and 6 banks was time consuming. One good thing though is that the seeds aren’t very viable. There are a lot of mature species out there but given their age and how many years they would have seeded, recruitment is at a minimum with the exclusion of a few infested areas.
One of the most infested areas in the valley is just east of Abbotts Yards. Very mature vines with species of all ages. The area of the infestation is huge, again all within native vegetation that traps the seed within that ecosystem.
East of this location, close to the access track is a field where large rocks have been stockpiled. Growing over these rocks is Lantana thick and over 2/3ms tall. Moth vine growing within this area are mature, podding and nearly impossible to treat. Only real answer to this is fire with back up treatment.
From Abbotts Yards to the barracks there are two further locations heavily infested. The first being a catchment line that joins Blackfellow Creek, It is located at 14, 27 grid on the Fire Action map. Within that grid is a green fence. The infestation in just north of that fence. This infestation in manageable. Second location is east of the first creek crossing after the two locked gates near the camp ground. The habitat from the first crossing to the second crossing, from the road to the creek needs to burn. The amount of Lantana within the habitat is so dense with so much Moth Vine growing through it, would take an army a long time to control.
There is also a moderate to high population of Moth vine just south of the camping grounds and west to the boundary of the park. All of which manageable.
Sandy Creek contain no Moth Vine at all. Both left and right branches were searched.
Finally Flaggy Creek. There are three main location of high density. Two in the upper catchment and one in the lower just before it reaches Blackfellow. One in particular in the upper catchment covers a very large area. Not where you would expect to see such an infestation, it surprised me to be honest. There must have been a season where a parent plant seeded and the wind dispersed this seed. The soil would have been exposed from previous years of dry weather. But that season must have been wet. These Moth vines are in an area not ideal, they struggle, little foliage but are podding, trying to reproduce. Problem is that the seeds they produce will be able to tolerate the harsher conditions.
There is a lot of work to do in this valley. 250 way points taken, in some cases one way point contains hundreds of vines.
Moth Vines is a species that is very resilient to foliar spray. The two main reasons are, as a vine, it tends to grow in multiple directions, through the understorey, leaf litter, so if you don’t spray it in its entirety, it will definitely not die. In fact all it does is genetically modify it to become even more resilient to herbicide. Second is that in National parks, fires, slashing and prior herbicide control are ineffective allowing the root system to grow, where the actual growth is not representative of the root system. There just isn’t enough foliage to absorb and transfer the herbicide to the root system.
Only one technique works from my experience. Cut scrap and paint. The first year will take time but once the parent plants are destroyed, thereafter it is treating the recruitment from the seed bank within the soil. Seed bank will last about 7 years but each year it reduces, each year time required to control the valley will reduce.
We are looking to return on the weekend of the 23rd of April. We have a team of 6, give or take to assist me. We will be searching the vegetation islands further to have a more comprehensive understanding of the valley, adding new discoveries to the data, along with removing pods, especially in the high density areas.