The presence of introduced weeds on our reserves is a major concern to the Society. Volunteer members and friends contribute much time and effort to reducing and eradicating weeds from our reserves. At almost 7,000ha in area, Moorunde Wildlife Reserve is a very large property and weeding it is no easy matter! Weeds reduce the ability for native plants to reestablish themselves or be reestablished.
Of great current concern at Moorunde Wildlife Reserve is the consumption of toxic weeds by wombats, desperate for food in areas now lacking the growth of their traditional food plants. This situation has largely come about due to inappropriate land clearing for farming in non-arable land and followed with overgrazing by sheep and cattle. Many years of overgrazing has resulted in depleted native grass seed-banks and allowed the spread of unpalatable and toxic weeds. The map below shows the original 2,000ha L-shaped section of Moorunde (established in 1968) and the newer 4,900ha section referred to as the Twelve Mile Plain (acquired in 2007).
Ungrazed by sheep for 45 years and with much effort and vigilance, the original 2,000ha area is essentially now weed-free. Ongoing monitoring is essential to maintain this status. However, the adjoining Twelve Mile Plain was grazed by sheep until 2006. Native vegetation recovery in this part of Moorunde is therefore almost 40 years behind the original section. Various introduced weeds (eg. Onion Weed, Wards Weed, Thread Iris, Horehound) have encroached into this area of South Australia in the past few decades, and with the sheep preferentially denuding the edible native grasses and herbaceous plants, these weeds have made a strong foothold into the Twelve Mile Plain section of Moorunde.
Moorunde Weed Identification Sheets To assist volunteers at Moorunde as well as others living or working in the surrounding districts, we are preparing Weed Identification Sheets, specifically for the target weeds at Moorunde. Click on the links below to download the identification sheets currently available.
- Bathurst Burr (Xanthium spinosum)
- Common Heliotrope (Heliotropium europaeum)
- Fat Hen (Chenopodium album)
- Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
- Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)
- Saffron Thistle (Carthamus lanatus)
- Salvation Jane (Echium plantagineum)
- Skeleton Weed (Chondrilla juncea)
- Stemless Thistle (Onopordum acaulon)
- Thread Iris (Moraea setifolia)
- Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)
- Wards Weed (Carrichtera annua)
- Wild Melon (Citrullus colocynthis)
- Wild Mignonette (Reseda luteola)
- Wild Sage (Salvia verbenaca)
Uncredited photos on these data sheets are taken by members at Moorunde. We are gradually updating the sheets to contain all photos from Moorunde and surrounding properties.