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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-64

Weeds and Wildlife: Perceptions and Practices of Weed Managers


Environmental Sustainability Research Group and the Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Emma H Carlos
Environmental Sustainability Research Group and the Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, Deakin University, Victoria
Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.132131

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Negative impacts of invasive plants or weeds on biodiversity have been well established yet their role in providing key habitats and resources for wildlife has been little understood. Weed removal thus has the potential to adversely affect wildlife but whether this is considered during weed management is poorly known. To determine the extent of this knowledge, we examined the perceptions of weed managers regarding wildlife and weed management in Victoria, Australia. We surveyed 81 weed managers of varying levels of experience from different types of organisations, including state and local government, community groups and private companies. We found 90% of managers had observed wildlife-weed interactions and that most (70%) adjusted management programmes to accommodate wildlife. Despite this, few (19%) had adopted the recommended practice of combining gradual weed removal with re-vegetation. While management programmes included monitoring of native vegetation, consideration of wildlife monitoring in weed management was rare. This highlights the need for management to better understand and respond to wildlife-weed relationships. If the improvement of wildlife habitat is included in the objectives of weed programmes, as it should be, then wildlife should also be incorporated in project monitoring. This would lead to a greater understanding of the role weeds and their management have in each situation and, ultimately, more informed decision making.


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