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09 Apr 2022:    Weeding Effort summary for the 1921-22 season, to March 31 2022

The weeding effort for the 2021-22 season to the end of December was 560 hours, almost entirely within the Reserve. This was 14% less than last season but around the average of the last 6 seasons. Strong weed growth in response to the second year of record rainfall in a row really required more effort than this, but it was interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, shown clearly in the monthly effort chart, and a reduced number of volunteers. Judicious use of allowed exercise time prevented effort coming to a complete halt but there was still a lot to catch up on and still is.

St. John's Wort, our most prevalent high risk invasive weed, has received most effort (228 hours, 41% of total effort), followed by Verbascum (107 h, 19% of total effort).

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.


13 Jan 2022:    Weeding Effort summary for the 1921-22 season, to December 31

The weeding effort for the 2021-22 season to the end of December was 286 hours, almost entirely within the Reserve. This was 25% less than last season but around the average of the last 6 seasons. Strong weed growth in response to the second near-record rainfall year in a row really required more effort than this, but it was interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, shown clearly in the monthly effort chart. Judicious use of allowed exercise time prevented effort coming to a complete halt but there is still a lot to catch up on.

St. John's Wort, our most prevalent high risk invasive weed, has received most effort (105 hours, 37% of total effort), followed by Verbascum (84 h, 30% of total effort).

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.


13 Nov 2021:    Weeding Effort summary for the 1921-22 season, to October 31

The weeding effort for the 2021-22 season to the end of October was 141 hours, entirely within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was 31% less than last season but the second largest effort in the last 6 seasons. Strong weed growth in response to the second near-record rainfall year in a row really required more effort than this, but it was interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, shown clearly in the monthly effort chart. Judicious use of allowed exercise time prevented effort coming to a complete halt but there is still a lot to catch up on.

The inability to run our chosen weed control program, plus the unusual seasons requiring unusual practices means that many comparisons with previous seasons are misleading. Spraying Verbascum throughout winter (until lockdown) in order to catch up on last season's late germination and get ahead for this season resulted in Verbascum receiving 50% of the effort. The distribution of effort was skewed to those paddocks that did not have Verbascum treated at the end of last season.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.


22 Sep 2021:    40-fold reduction in Sweet Briars achieved in 2021

One of the key woody weed targets for fotpin has been Sweet briar (Rosa rubignosa).

A systematic approach over 10 years has resulted in their average density across the Reserve* being reduced from 44 briars/ha in 2012-13 to 1.1 briars/ha in 2020-21. In this time more than 24,000 have been removed from the Reserve, mostly by spraying.

For more details see the briar eradication and briar density distribution pages.

briar decline

* Note: this includes in the 2016 Pinnacle Extension, where treatment also began in 2012-13 because of its high conservation value


20 Sep 2021:    Weeding effort summary for 2020-21 season

June 30 this year marked the end of the 11th season of closely recording, georeferencing and monitoring fotpin's weed control effort.

Features of the weeding effort summary for the 2020-21 season include:shows that .

  • effort was the largest of the last 5 seasons, both for the Reserve* alone (794 hours) and for the Reserve and adjacent paddocks combined (802 hours);
  • despite the increased effort this season we struggled to control many of the usual invasive weed targets, notably St. John's Wort and Verbascum;
  • effort in Weetangera paddock has increased from 3% in 2011-14 of that spent in the Reserve to 38% in 2020-21;
  • effort in the Reserve excluding the Weetangera paddock is the smallest of the 11 seasons;
  • most effort was spent on: miscellaneous Broadleaf Weeds (215 hours), Verbascum (149 h), St. John's Wort (116 h) and Saffron Thistles (109 h). Together these accounted for 74% of total effort;
  • only about 40% of effort was spent on weeds rated as high risk.

See the 2020-2021 weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.

* Note: effort for the Reserve now includes effort in the Extension, both in this season and in previous seasons.


02 Feb 2021:    Weeding Effort summary for the 1920-21 season, to January 31

The weeding effort for the 2020-21 season to the end of January was 477 hours, entirely within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was 87% more than for this period last season but the fourth smallest total effort in the 11 seasons of records.

The increased effort compared to last season reflects the fact that 2020 was the fifth wettest year in the 47 years since BoM rainfall records commenced in this part of Canberra, and the wettest since 2016. It was also a warmer than average winter. These conditions were ideal for germination and growth of the many weed types present on the Reserve. (Fortunately conditions were also ideal for native species which have been present in abundance as well, with many species being observed for the first time in many years).

The increase compared with last season belies the fact that we have been unable to put in enough effort to control the weeds across the Reserve to the same extent as in most previous seasons. We have had reduced availability of weeders, and efforts have been affected by rain. The intense grass growth also means that weeding is much slower than usual.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.


08 Nov 2020:    Weeding Effort summary for the 1920-21 season, to October 31

The weeding effort for the 2020-21 season to the end of October was 205 hours, entirely within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was 88% more than last season and the fifth largest total effort in the 11 seasons of records and the second largest for the Reserve alone.

The increased effort reflects the fact that 2020 has been the wettest year since 2012 with above average rainfall from March through to October and a warmer than average winter. Ideal conditions for germination and growth of the many weed types present on the Reserve. (It was also ideal conditions for native species which are also present in abundance, with many species being observed for the first time in many years).

The collection of uncategorised broadleaf weeds (which incudes Mustard, Prickly Lettuce, Nightshade, Plantain, Flatweeds, Paddymelon and Sorrel) have received the most effort (62 h) closely followed by Capeweed (60 h), together comprising 59% of the effort. Exotic grasses (23 h), Thistles other than Saffron Thistles (23 h), Saffron Thistles (21 h) and Paterson's Curse (13 h) were next, together accounting ding another 39% of total effort.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.


07 Oct 2020:    Weeding Effort summary for the 1920-21 season, to September 30

The weeding effort for the 2020-21 season to the end of September was 131 hours,all within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was 150% more than last season and the fourth largest total effort in the 11 seasons of records and the second largest for the Reserve alone.

The increased effort reflects the fact that 2020 has been the wettest year since 2012 with above average rainfall from March through to September and a warmer than average winter. Ideal conditions for germination and growth of the many weed types present on the Reserve. (It was also ideal conditions for native species which are also present in abundance, with many species being observed for the first time in many years).

Most effort was spent on the group of miscellaneous Broadleaf weeds, (46 h; 42% of total). Next was Paterson's Curse (21 h) followed by Capeweed (16 h). Together these made up 86% of the effort.

Most effort was spent on Capeweed followed by the collection of uncategorised broadleaf weeds (which incudes Hoary Mustard, Prickly Lettuce, Nightshade, Tragopogon, Plantain, Flatweeds, Paddymelon and Sorrel). Between them they accounted for 74% of the effort. Thistles other than Saffron Thistles and Paterson's Curse were next, together accounting ding another 19% of total effort.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.


09 Jul 2020:    Weeding effort summary for 2019-20 season

June 30 this year marked the end of the 10th season of closely recording, georeferencing and monitoring fotpin's weed control effort. The usual annual summary of effort is described below. In a few weeks' time we will also publish a retrospective analysis of our 10 years of effort, how it has changed over the decade, to what extent it indicates sustainable progress in controlling the major invasive weeds on the Pinnacle Nature Reserve and what general recommendations for weed control on Canberra's Nature Reserves can be drawn from it.

The weeding effort summary for the 2019-20 season shows that our effort was the smallest of the last 10 years, both for the Reserve* alone (666 hours) and for the Reserve and adjacent paddocks combined (687 hours). This partly reflects a decline in weeding volunteer numbers over the years, partly an improvement in our efficiency, partly variability of the climate and partly, we hope, success in reducing the size of some weed infestations and therefore reducing effort required.

Despite the reduced effort compared with a few years ago, we are reasonably confident that all major invasive weed targets were controlled on the Reserve to the same extent as in previous seasons.

The weeds that absorbed most effort this season were miscellaneous Broadleaf Weeds (204 hours, all on the Reserve), St. John's Wort (127 h), Paterson's Curse (103 h, 99% on the Reserve), Saffron Thistles (73 h, 96% on the Reserve) and Verbascum (34 h, 99% on the Reserve). Together these accounted for 79% of the effort.

See the 2019-2020 weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.

* Note: effort for the Reserve now includes effort in the Extension, both in this season and in previous seasons.


09 Mar 2020:    Weeding Effort summary updated to end of February

The weeding effort for the 2019-20 season to the end of February was 281 hours, 96% within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was was the smallest of the the 10 seasons of records and only 40% of their average. Effort in January (26 h; all in the Reserve) was also the smallest of our 10 seasons, only 23% of the average for the previous 9 Februaries.

The small effort for this season is in large part due to the hot, dry weather. Some rainfall and temperature statistics relevant to this period can be found below.

Most effort for the season to date has been spent on the group of miscellaneous Broadleaf weeds, (102 h), followed by St. John's Wort (60 h), Paterson's Curse (34 h), Briars (18 h) and Capeweed (16 h). Together these made up 82% of the effort.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.

Rainfall recovery

After an exceedingly dry year in 2019 there has been a recovery in rainfall to close to average in January (40 mm) and well over 2.5 times average in February (still awaiting final figures from BoM). March has also got off to a strong start already having received about twice average rainfall. This means that we have already had more than half the rainfall received in the whole of last year and the wettest start to a calendar year since 2012. We can expect a strong recovery of weeds (and native species) in autumn and no doubt a strong increase in effort required for their control.


06 Feb 2020:    Weeding Effort summary updated to end of January

The weeding effort for the 2019-20 season to the end of January was 255 hours, 96% within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was was the smallest of the the 10 seasons of records. Effort in January (14 h; all in the Reserve) was also the smallest of our 10 seasons, only 10% of the average for the previous 9 Januaries.

The small effort for this season is in large part due to the hot, dry weather. Some rainfall and temperature statistics relevant to this period can be found below.

Most effort for the season to date has been spent on the group of miscellaneous Broadleaf weeds, (92 h), followed by St. John's Wort (57 h), Paterson's Curse (33 h), Capeweed (16 h) and Briars (14 h). Together these made up 86% of the effort.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.

Rainfall and temperature statistics

For the two Bureau of Meteorology rainfall gauging stations closest to The Pinnacle, the 6 months from July to December was the driest of the 46 years of records with only 105 mm (an average of 17 mm per month) well below the 46-year median for this period of 361 mm (60 mm per month). The rainfall for the 2019 calendar year (374 mm) was the third smallest since records commenced in 1974, ahead of 345 mm in 1982 and 360 mm in 2006. The total rainfall for the last 3 calendar years was 1488 mm, only 4 mm more than the driest 3 year period from 2006 to 2008 in the middle of the last drought.

The mean maximum rainfall for the each of the last 4 months (October to January) exceeded the previous record for the corresponding month by 4 degrees, while the all time record for the daily maximum temperature was exceeded twice in December.


28 Jan 2020:    Guidelines for volunteer fieldwork in extreme conditions

In view of the challenging weather conditions at the moment which include extreme temperatures, poor air quality and extended total fire bans the Parkcare team has been working with safety experts to put together some guidelines to assist volunteers staying safe.

They've carried out an updated risk assessment and put together a simple one page document which provides guidelines for volunteer fieldwork in extreme weather [ pdf 0.5 MB].


25 Jan 2020:    New illustrated species lists added to the fotpin website ...

... all linked from the new flora and fauna page.

New lists of species with confirmed sightings on the Pinnacle Nature Reserve have been added to our website, including: mammals, fungi, spiders, beetles, insects and many others. Photos of selected species are included in each list as well as links to where more photos can be found.

The new sightings are drawn largely from the Canberra Nature Map, where fotpin members and others report their observations of all living things great and small.

The website menu has also been modified and a number of other web pages updated. Details of all the changes can be found on the website updates page.

Some of these changes will help to set the website up for future gradual transition to "responsive design" to make it more suitable for devices with different screen sizes.


09 Jan 2020:    Weeding Effort summary updated to end of December

The weeding effort for the 2019-20 season to the end of December was 240 hours, 96% within the Reserve (including the Extension). This was much less than last season but similar to the season before, which was the smallest of the the 10 seasons of records. Effort in December was 44 hours, all but 3 hours of which was on the Reserve. This was the smallest amount of December effort in the last 10 seasons and less than 25% of our peak December effort in 2013-14.

The small effort for this season is in large part due to the hot, dry weather. Some rainfall statistics relevant to this period can be found below.

Most effort for the season to date has been spent on the group of miscellaneous Broadleaf weeds, (92 h; 38% of total). Next was St. John's Wort (51 h), followed by Paterson's Curse (33 h) and Capeweed (16 h). Together these made up 80% of the effort.

See the weeding effort page and associated links to maps and charts for more statistics and comparisons with previous seasons and across the different management regions of the Reserve.

Rainfall statistics

For the two Bureau of Meteorology rainfall gauging stations closest to The Pinnacle, the 6 months from July to December was the driest of the 46 years of records with only 105 mm (an average of 17 mm per month) well below the 46-year median for this period of 361 mm (60 mm per month). The rainfall for the 2019 calendar year (374 mm) was the third smallest since records commenced in 1974, ahead of 345 mm in 1982 and 360 mm in 2006. The total rainfall for the last 3 calendar years was 1488 mm, only 4 mm more than the driest 3 year period from 2006 to 2008 in the middle of the last drought.

 


For earlier News articles, see News Archives for:

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2010/11

 


 

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