Protecting Australia’s environment from pests and diseases that are likely to cause damage is important so that everyone can enjoy Australia’s pristine natural environment.
Bushwalkers venture to places where few people go and are an asset to help detect any unusual changes in our bushland and forests.
You can help by being aware of what is around you the next time you go bushwalking and reporting anything unusual.
Know what to look for
Pest animals and weeds have a negative impact on Australia’s ecosystems and our valuable agricultural industries. Pest animals and plants can harbour diseases which may cause environmental and economic damage.
If you see certain animals or plants increasing in abundance, or if you think may not belong in your community, let your local authorities know. For plant pests – like weeds – pay particular attention to the edges of walking trails, lookouts, camping sites and other disturbed areas, as this is where they are most likely to appear.
Your local authorities will have information on how to identify pest animals and weeds, and what to do if you find them. Find out more at your local agriculture, industry, or environment government agency or visit their websites for details.You can find a wide range of information on the PestSmart website about pest animals and weeds.
Check for debris
By trekking through relatively undisturbed terrain, you can unknowingly transfer weed seeds and other unwanted material, which can change our unique landscape.
Weed seeds and unwanted biological material (for example spores of fungi) can get into clothing and equipment like bags and backpacks. They can also be trapped in soil, stuck on shoes and under wheel arches of cars or trailers.
The next time you’re out walking, ensure you’re not transferring weed seeds and unwanted biological material. You can do this by checking your clothes and equipment for plant or soil debris before entering or leaving walking tracks.
Do not touch monitoring equipment
From time to time, monitoring equipment (e.g. cameras) and traps are placed in natural areas by researchers and local authorities. It is important that you do not disturb or damage this equipment, as it plays an important role in locating and managing pest animals.
If you find damaged equipment or see it being interfered with in any way, jot down the details. If you know the owner of the equipment, let them know.
- Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
- NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
- Agriculture Victoria
- Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
- Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
- Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Western Australia
- Farmpoint Tasmania
- Northern Territory Government