Biocontrol Assistant Nina Drinkwater and our volunteer Kerrie O’Donnell did an amazing job looking after the Biocontrol facility while I took an extended break and headed off to the Northern Territory.
It’s dry harsh country in the outback and it’s hard to believe there was once a shallow inland sea during the cretaceous period, 100 million years ago. If you are a dinosaur nut just like I am, then I highly recommend visiting Winton’s dinosaur stampede. The dinosaur trail takes you from Winton to Richmond and on to Hughenden. The old sea floor is littered with marine fossils and it is easy enough to pick up a few ancient shells while fossicking at Richmond. While time was limited and no significate discover was made, I was really impressed with a Sauropod egg while visiting the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden. My mind is made up and a sauropod egg is a must to add to my fossil collection but at $ 10,000 I think I will just settle with an egg from my chooks, you can collect it, view it and eat it too.
It was awesome to finally visit Katherine Gorge, Kakadu and Litchfield National Park just to name a few, and knowing that the native vegetation is not being smothered by Cats claw creeper or Madeira vine, something of which we are inundated with throughout Southeast Queensland.
The Northern Territory is not free from weeds though, with the aquatic fern, Salvinia choking the waterways. Native to Brazil and now widespread, the weed forms large floating mats, starves the water from oxygen and smoothers native water plants. Fortunately, a biocontrol agent a Salvinia weevil was released and is making a big impact on this weed. If you have Salvinia on your property and are interested in the weevils, then give Gympie Regional Council Lands Protection office a call on 1300 307 800.
Weeds or no weeds, Australia is an amazing Country and if you don’t have time to get out there, then just make the time.
Yvonne Hennell | Bio-Control Manager