Recently some eagle-eyed Halcrow-workers (airport project management unit) spotted an unfamiliar plant growing at the airport construction site. A number of weeds were found growing in a consignment of coarse sand imported from Namibia which have been identified by Island botanist Phil Lambdon as a type of Ice plant new to the Island.
It appears that the heavy rains in March, followed by sunnier weather have prompted the germination of the ice plant seeds in sand which had been unpacked from containers and exposed to the elements.
Basil Read, working with Halcrow and ANRD, has implemented a full-scale biosecurity response:
- All the growing plants have been pulled up, before they set seed
- The infested sand consignment has been thoroughly checked over and will be used as quickly as possible in construction
- Steps are being taken to ensure that future consignments of coarse sand have a lower risk of seed;
- The construction site will continue to be routinely monitored.
Jill Key, Pest Control and Biosecurity Officer said:
“Imported sand is routinely inspected for insect pests, and on-site monitoring is in place to check for any weed seeds. We’re very grateful to Halcrow and Basil Read for their quick work in spotting this new weed and literally nipping it in the bud.”
If you spot any unfamiliar plant or insect, call the biosecurity team at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on 24724.
16 April 2014