David Gilet, Byron Bay
I have long been dismayed by the use of Glyphosate by Parks & Wildlife in Arakwal National Park.
I am particularly dismayed by their war on Nyasa Red Grass.
When I first started walking in the park I thought that surely their long millet-type seed heads must feed some native birds. Since then, after 21 years of observation, I find that this is not the case. Although migratory, the most common local finch is the Red Browed Finch, but I have never observed these birds feeding on this plant.
The closest I have come to observing any birds feeding was one very dry year when I observed a small flock of Double Barred Finches who had moved to the coast owing to the dry conditions pecking rather disconsolately at the seed heads but not eating them. However this grass forms an excellent environment for frogs.
But the way sprays are used is also incredibly dumb. They spray along the margins of the paths for both bitou and Nyasa grass; this results in an ugly scar of dead vegetation running through the park and achieves sweet FA. Glyphosate is a defoliant and doesn’t kill seeds, and the sprayed areas are bordered by unsprayed areas so seeding can also proceed from there. Altogether you’d have to say they are trying to push shit uphill as it means areas have to be resprayed every year.