Pests and weeds on the rise

ABARES executive director, Dr Jared Greenville.

The third national survey of pests and weeds shows 85 per cent of land managers spent on average around $21,950 in 2022 on pest and weed species management.

The results of the 2022 ABARES pest animal and weed management land manager survey demonstrates that the level of commitment required by land managers to control pests and weeds is increasing, according to ABARES executive director, Dr Jared Greenville.

“Land managers reported that feral animals continue to cause considerable impacts on their properties in 2022,” Dr Greenville said.

“The survey showed 89 per cent of land managers reported problems due to feral animals in 2022, up from 85 per cent in 2019. Foxes, rabbits, rats and mice were the most common species reported as causing problems.

“There have also been reports of feral animals that are new to properties or have increased in numbers, such as feral pigs and deer, that are causing damage.

“About three-quarters of land managers continue to manage pest animals on their properties through various means.

“Ground shooting was the most common management activity, used by about 75 per cent of land managers. Pesticide and/or insecticide use and ground baiting were also popular control measures, used by around 50 per cent of land managers.”

There was also a small but meaningful increase in reports of weed related problems on properties since 2019. Around 60% of land managers reported problems with Weeds of National Significance in 2022, up from 58 per cent in 2019.

“The most common weeds that were reported as being new to the property were Fireweed, Feathertop rhodes grass, Fleabane, African lovegrass, Thistles and Giant rats tail grass.

“More than 80 per cent of land managers are actively managing weeds on their properties, with the application of herbicides remaining the most common weed management activity.”

For more information from the pest animals and weed management survey, visit