Arum Lily Blitz is back – bigger than ever!
The Arum Lily Blitz is back – with an ambitious goal of signing up a record number of landholders to help eradicate the region’s worst weed from more bushland than ever before.
Now in its 5th year, Nature Conservation Margaret River Region says the Blitz has reached a crucial tipping point where real wins are being made to bring back bushland and biodiversity from the grip of the toxic and highly invasive introduced weed.
“The Arum Lily Blitz has really taken off in the past four years, with more than 1600 landholders across the Margaret River Region joining a whole suite of local on-ground groups and government agencies controlling arums across an area that now exceeds 20,000 hectares,” says Blitz coordinator Mike Griffiths, pictured.
“This program is going from strength to strength as more of the community gets on board to make a huge difference to our local environment. People are really connecting and taking action – they’re not just talking about it. And when people care, great things happen.
“But the message is that arum lilies are tenacious and we need to keep up the fight. We have funding to ramp up the Blitz for two more years, so now is the time to get on board. Just one neighbour who doesn’t control arums can let down their entire street or suburb because arums will spread and re-seed from there.”
Nature Conservation wants the 2023 Arum Lily Blitz to be the most successful yet by:
- Recruiting an additional 100 landholders to join the Blitz and handing over free herbicide the control arums on their property
- Partnering with more local groups, volunteer organisations and government agencies to widen the net of bushland where arums are being controlled
- Plugging the biggest gaps where arum control is not happening
- Leading a major push to control arums in the southern part of the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park in the wake of the December 2021 bushfire
- Urging everyone to take to social media and share their stories and pictures of fighting arums with the hashtag “#arumlilyblitz”
“Arum lilies aren’t a natural part of the south-west environment. They’re an introduced species from South Africa and are one of the major threats to biodiversity in our region,” says Mr Griffiths. “They outcompete the unique and colourful wildflowers, degrade forests, choke out understorey vegetation and crucial wildlife habitat with it.”
But Nature Conservation’s Arum Lily Blitz has been hitting back with a coordinated region-wide attack on arums, funded by the WA Government’s State Natural Resources Management Program until 2024. The Blitz offers free herbicide, information and resources to people who are keen to do their bit in slowing the ‘arum lily bulldozer’, and brings together local and state government agencies, businesses and landholders for coordinated arum lily control.
“Using herbicide should always be a last resort to control weeds, but unfortunately when we’re tackling huge patches of arums with hundreds or thousands of plants, the only practical way to deal with them is by using a low-risk herbicide that is specific to arums and certain bulbous plants,” says Mr Griffiths. “The preferred herbicide is very effective against arums, breaks down quickly in most soils and has minimal environmental impact. We’d prefer not to use any herbicide, but doing nothing and watching whole ecosystems being wiped out is far worse for the environment.”
All landholders are urged to join the Blitz, regardless of land size and experience level. Find out more, register and see how to get your free herbicide at www.natureconservation.org.au