The City of Swan, with its verdant landscapes and thriving ecosystems, is home to Bells Rapids — a natural jewel that beckons both nature enthusiasts and conservationists. Recognizing the delicate balance between human activities and ecological preservation, the City commissioned an intricate Level 2 invasive flora assessment on 21st March 2023. Our mission? To identify and map invasive weed species, safeguarding the native flora and fauna.
A Methodical Approach
Our endeavor commenced with a meticulous desktop assessment, sifting through a myriad of past reports to garner a comprehensive understanding of the survey area's botanical history. Although classified as a Supplementary Survey under the EPA Act — due to its winter schedule deviating from the recommended surveying period — our work was no less rigorous.
Equipped with knowledge and purpose, our team ventured into the field, systematically examining 150-meter transect lines that branched off from existing tracks. Spaced approximately 100 meters apart, these transects served as our windows into the vegetative world, revealing the presence and density of weed species within a 10-meter radius on either side.
In instances where individual weed points sprawled beyond our immediate grasp, we resorted to precision mapping. By delineating polygons, we captured the expanse and density of weed populations, categorised into three density brackets: less than 5%, between 5-75%, and over 75%.
A Step Forward
Our assessment stands as a testament to the City of Swan's commitment to environmental stewardship. By shedding light on the invasive species that lurk within Bells Rapids, we pave the way for informed, targeted weed control measures — be they chemical or manual. It is through such endeavors that we safeguard our natural heritage for generations to come.