15 Dec 2011

Call for fungi to be released to attack invasive weed

6:32 am on 15 December 2011

Northland Regional Council has asked the Environmental Protection Authority for permission to import and release two species of fungi to tackle one of the world's most invasive weeds.

Lantana camara is a serious pest in Northland, where it forms dense thickets that invade a wide variety of areas from native and exotic forests to domestic gardens, roadsides, sand dunes, quarries and wasteland.

Lantana can be poisonous to people and grazing stock.

The Environmental Protection Authority is now calling for public submissions on the regional council's application.

The council's biosecurity senior programme manager Don McKenzie says if it's approved, introduction of the two fungi should reduce the growth rate and fruit and leaf production of lantana.