Perth: Invasive weed Amazon frogbit to be declared a pest

Frogbit in Browns Lake and on the bank. Picture: DBCA.
Frogbit in Browns Lake and on the bank. Picture: DBCA.

THE Amazon frogbit, an invasive aquatic weed that spread through Bayswater Brook from December 2017 to January 2018, will be a declared pest from tomorrow.

Originating from Central and South America, the Amazon frogbit spreads rapidly via fragments that are readily detached from the parent plant.

The weed can impact river health and biodiversity and will be registered and declared a pest under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.

Mandurah MLA David Templeman made the announcement as a representative for Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan in Parliament today.

The announcement came after Maylands MLA Lisa Baker raised concerns from Bayswater eco-shop Environment House and the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare.

Ms Baker said the groups had been seeking to get the weed listed after weeds were collected from Bayswater Brook by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) officers in December.

Frogbit in Browns Lake and on the bank. Pictures: DBCA.

“The site was just 500m upstream from the confluence with the Swan River and close to our very valuable, delicate and much-loved wetland in the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary,” she said.

“Through the swift work of officers from DBCA, the Water Corporation, the City of Bayswater and the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare, the infestation was removed and plant fragments were contained before they could spread into the Swan River – we hope.

“I urge the Minister to please take the necessary steps to ensure this potentially devastating weed is effectively controlled before there can be further damage to our environment.”

Mr Templeman said the weed had been predominantly sold as an aquarium species.

“I am really pleased that as of tomorrow, Amazon frogbit will be a declared pest,” he said.

“It underpins the importance of the fact, as the member for Maylands highlights on many occasions, that we are all responsible for being vigilant.

“When we are purchasing aquariums and those sorts of aquatic things, we need to be well aware of the lasting impact it can have if we do not dispose of or deal with what we are purchasing in an appropriate manner.

“It can have a devastating effect on our native fauna and flora, our wetlands and our river systems.”