Biosecurity, News, Stories

The looming crisis of dieback

A recent article has starkly illustrated the dangers to our environment posed by the plant disease known as Phytophthora. With impacts likened to the effects of bleaching across our coral reefs, Phytophthora cinnamomi is more active in warmer, wetter conditions and has the potential to wreak havoc with our natural systems on a large scale.

But there is something you can do to help. Good biosecurity practices can help to limit the spread of this disease.

Remember to Check, Clean and Dry vehicles, equipment and footwear between sites and if you can’t completely Dry your gear or have just left an area with known or likely biosecurity risks such as Phytophthora make sure you Disinfect your gear as well. The Disinfect step is also important when you are visiting remote and sensitive areas such as the off shore islands and the interior of the World Heritage Area.

Planning how you are going to clean your gear and how the run off is contained is important as these threats are not just to our natural environment. Bringing Phytophthora back to your garden can impact on native plants, and a wide range of non-native species such as roses and citrus. Infected soil, mulch and gravel can also introduce plant diseases into your garden – you can limit this risk by making sure that the material you buy is weed and disease free.

For more information on how to Check, Clean, Disinfect, Dry for different activities check out www.nrmsouth.org.au/biosecurity

Image credit: Sue Jennings

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