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Trawling for Tiger Pear in the Sydney Basin

THE Hawkesbury and South West Sydney communities are being called on to help curb the spread of a highly invasive weed emerging in the region.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services is working with volunteer groups and other key agencies to limit the spread of tiger pear, a cactus closely related to prickly pear, with large spines which easily break off and cause painful injury to animals and humans.

“Tiger pear is regarded as the worst of all cactus species and already infests large parts of Queensland and New South Wales. We are now starting to see smaller scale outbreaks in these areas of the Sydney basin,” Land Services Officer Jenny Schabel said.

“Once established it is a very difficult and potentially dangerous weed to control, so preventing it from incidental spreading is crucial. Tiger pear can often be spread by people unknowingly either on their footwear or on vehicle tyres.”

“We rely on the community members to be our eyes and ears on the ground and report sightings of anything unusual like this weed because we can’t be everywhere at once. The insight of locals helps us better target our control efforts and ensure we are achieving maximum impact in stopping the spread,” she said.

Ms Schabel said to date tiger pear had been found in the Cattai and Scheyville areas in the Hawkesbury and the Menangle and Camden areas in Macarthur.

Report sightings of the weed or any known infestations to the Greater Sydney Local Land Services Penrith office on ph: 4724 2100.

“We have experienced officers who can provide best practice management advice and assistance with control options,” Ms Schabel said.

Find out more about tiger pear via the NSW DPI weedwise website.

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrath ph. 02) 4724 2138