Bugs, Beetles and BiocontrolTransforming landscapes in the Burnett through innovative management practices
This project is funded by the National Landcare Program and will advance a range of biocontrol solutions that challenge traditional approaches and improve the way the established weed species of Parthenium and Cat’s Claw Creeper (CCC) are managed in the Inland Burnett.
It is designed to create a long-term & sustainable management of Parthenium & CCC in the Inland Burnett Region via the production & use of multiple effective biocontrol agents.
To accomplish this goal the project will establish a biocontrol breeding facilities at Monto. In-field nurseries will be also be established to facilitate environmental persistence of biocontrol agents.
The Monto facility will be used to produce CCC biocontrol agents (Jewel Beetle). CCC has widespread impacts on native ecosystems, particularly vulnerable riparian zones.
Parthenium is one of the greatest weed pest species in Australia due to its invasiveness, potential to spread, economic & environmental impacts, which include decreasing viability of livestock production, harbouring plant disease, significantly impacting biodiversity & causing health complications in humans.
There are currently 9 insects and 2 rusts (fungi) released in Australia that are used as biocontrol agents on Parthenium. These agents wont eradicate Parthenium but instead control it by feeding and/or affecting the leaves, stems, roots, seeds and flowers. Therefore, a combination of agents result in a greater reduction of Parthenium weed.
Initial surveys of the Burnett by Biosecurity Queensland indicate we have at least three biocontrol agents already present in the region. Therefore, we will be harvesting others from the field, particularly around the Central Queensland (CQ) region.
Targeting the upper catchment of the Burnett River system will have positive long-term impact on weed reproductive material reduction & the migration of biological control agents further downstream, expanding the control impact of this project throughout the entire catchment over the longer-term.
Jewel Beetle – biocontrol agent for Cats Claw Creeper
Zygogramma bicolorata – biocontrol agent for Parthenium
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🐞Zygogramma bicolorata, also referred to as the Parthenium beetle or Mexican beetle, is native to Mexico but has been introduced as a biocontrol agent for Parthenium since the 1980's in Australia. The beetles are host specific and only eat and breed on Parthenium. ...
𝐂𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐰 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐫 (CCC) is a long lived perennial vine native to Central and South America. It was introduced into Australia as an ornamental garden plant because of its vigourous growth and large, bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers it produces in spring. The vine...
Burnett Catchment Care Association (BCCA) received a National Landcare Program – Smart Farms Small Grant to establish biocontrol breeding facilities in Monto. The facility will be used to produce biocontrol agents for Cats Claw Creeper (CCC) and Parthenium....
Burnett Catchment Care Association were recently successful in receiving a National Landcare Program – Smart Farms Small Grants Round 4 grant. Our project - ‘Bugs, Beetles and Biocontrol – Transforming landscapes in the Burnett through innovative management practices’...