Weeds Management at Anumarlubandirri Billabong
The Crocodile Islands Rangers partnered with Weeds Management Branch to tackle the weed Para grass that was choking a culturally significant billabong called Anumarlubandirri, and have had some great results so far.
Our ancestors used the freshwater billabongs as sources of water and food. In recent years we put cattle on our land for food as well as money. It was great for a little while and then with expensive transport costs it no longer operated. After the cattle left we still had the grass that the cattle were eating. Para grass. With no cattle eating it this weed has grown out of control. The weed has choked many of our favourite water holes including the culturally significant Anumarlubandirri billabong, preventing the use of this special place by both animals and people.
With the support of an EnvironmeNT grant, and the advice and help of Tom Price from Weeds Management Branch, NT Government, we started a project to remove the para grass weeds from Anumarlubandirri billabong. We combined our ancestors’ knowledge of burning with modern day weed spraying techniques, and we have been able to clear the para grass. There are still seeds in the soil and the rangers are keeping on top of this by checking the area regularly and continued spraying.
Once we cleared the weeds we took our Junior Rangers along to show them the water body and also share some ancient techniques to gather water and hunt from this billabong. The Junior Rangers had such a good time that the very next day the whole school went on an excursion out to the billabong.
The rangers are now branching out from Anumarlubandirri billabong to start to tackle para grass in other special areas. Once we are on top of the para grass in the bush we want to work with the shire to tackle the problem in the town.
Read the media release from Department of Land Resource Management: