27 species of opuntioid cacti added to WA’s declared pest list

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Image credit: flickr User: Dallas Krentzel

Opuntioid cacti are found in parts of Western Australia, including the rangelands and Wheatbelt and can be a real menace to agricultural land and the environment.

Image credit: flickr User: Dallas Krentzel
Image credit: flickr User: Dallas Krentzel

The Government has added a total of 27 species of opuntioid cacti to WA’s declared pest list, which means that these species cannot be traded or brought into WA.

“Most of these cacti are listed as Weeds of National Significance. These infestations pose a serious risk to agricultural production in the State, especially in the southern rangelands which are more susceptible to cacti establishing and spreading,” said Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston in a statement.

“The Western Australian community, landholders and Government are working together to stop the introduction and spread of pest plants. An excellent example of this collaborative work is in the Pilbara, where the Department of Agriculture and Food, Rangelands NRM and Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee are working together to tackle the cacti under a national Biodiversity Fund program.”

The declared cacti species are the first new additions to the declared plant list under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.

According to the Minister’s statement, Silverleaf nightshade, a weed which can impact cereal crop yields, has also been added to the declared pest list.