Lantana Lowdown Volume 2 Issue 1 - Weeds Australia

weeds.org.au

Lantana Lowdown Volume 2 Issue 1 - Weeds Australia

Lantana Lowdown Volume 2, Issue 1Page 2Out of this worldRemote Sensing Guru:Andy StewartIn a world first, the LantanaWoNS project has enlistedthe help of satellite imageryto help track the weed.Andy Stewart and GrantHodgins are the scientistswith Queensland’s Departmentof Natural Resourcesand Water (NRW), workingin collaboration with BiosecurityQueensland, throughthe WoNS program, to mapthe spread of lantana alongAustralia’s eastern seaboard.Rather than rely on individuallandholders to reporttheir infestations, thismethod can help to identifyhigh priority areas that mayotherwise go unreported.Currently at its half-waypoint, the three-year projecthas directed $450,000 offunding towards identifyingextensive lantana outbreaksat several centres, includingMackay, Rockhampton andas far west as Emerald.This is an innovative projectthat will benefit landholdersacross the country.Mapping weeds using remotesensing technology onsuch a large scale has notbeen attempted before.Scientist Andy Stewart,from NRW’s Natural ResourceSciences centre, saidhis team used images fromNASA’s Landsat satellitesintegrated with GeographicInformation System (GIS)data on climate and disturbanceto map lantana.Lantana distribution: Current and potential“Composite images can becreated from satellite datathat show variation in vegetationtypes, as differentplants generate differentreflections of infra-red andvisible light,” Mr Stewartsaid.“The project has been inplace for 18 months and weare already getting positiveresults from an extensivefield-checking phase of initialmapping. We are wellon the way to developing auseful product.”“We’ve found infestationsalong most of the east coastand adjacent inland areas,from the tip of Cape Yorkdown to Eden, near theNSW/Victorian border.Mr Stewart said NRW’sremote sensing team hadbeen recognised internationallyfor the accuracy oftheir Landsat data archivedating back to 1980.“Before analysing our data,we make corrections to takeinto account varying conditions,such as sun angle ortopography, between differentlocations,” he said.“This project wouldn’t bepossible without the accuracyof these corrections.Queensland’s standard hasbeen independently reviewedby a science panel,which describes our methodsand processes asworld’s best practice.”The project is part of theDefeating the Weeds Menaceprogram, funded by theAustralian Governmentwith in-kind support fromthe Queensland Government.Weed Management in Remnant VegetationThe latest changes to vegetationmanagement legislationin Queensland haveraised many questions forlandholders – where canweed removal be undertaken;what kind of vegetationcan be removed; whereare the boundary limits;what control methods canbe used?Formal management guidesare currently being developedby Queensland’s NaturalResources and Water.However, until they arepublished, there is valuableinformation available tolandholders, accessiblefrom most state departmentsresponsible for thisparticular issue in their respectivestates.Landholders from Queenslandare advised to contacttheir local NRW ServiceCentre to determinewhether permits are necessaryfor their situation.Permits and advice are freeof charge.Alternatively, there are informationsheets available(Continued page 3)

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