We’re looking for help to map cotton bush in SW WA

February 16th, 2021

Can you help us fill a gap on the cotton bush distribution map in Western Australia?

Developing an understanding of how to improve weed management depends significantly on knowing the distribution of the weed of interest.  Stakeholders producing management plans frequently rely on online databases, such as the Atlas of Living Australia, to inform their understanding of what weed is where.  For many weeds, however, the data recorded in these online repositories is a very poor representation of the true distribution.  For those of us working on weed management challenges, it’s a well known fact that people collecting data for the distribution of plants often overlook weedy species.

New collection methods, including app-based tools, are revolutionising our ability to understand which plants are where in the landscape. Anyone with access to these tools and the time to invest can help build a deeper understanding of where weeds are, and what they are doing where they are found.  Here’s where we would value your help!

Our team at CSIRO is collaborating with the South West Catchments Council and a number of community groups to help develop new tools for controlling narrow leaf cotton bush (Gomphocarpus fruticosus) in Western Australia.  As part of this work, we need to map the full distribution of this weed, ideally down to every population.  We are well aware that the distribution as it is currently recorded on the Atlas of Living Australia is a far cry from the actual distribution across the state.

Narrow leaf cotton bush (Gomphocarpus fruticosus) Photo: DPIRD WA.

If you could help by filling gaps on our cotton bush map, we would greatly appreciate it.  Here’s what to do!

  1. Please download DPIRD’s MyPestGuide™ Reporter app to your smartphone.
  2. Report any cotton bush plants you find, along with any insects or disease that you notice on the plants.
  3. Send in a sample (details provided in the app) if you notice anything else interesting.

A full step by step set of instructions can be found for download here:  [Cotton bush sampling instructions]

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like further information or if you have any questions about our work.

Thanking you all in advance!