Researchers at Charles Darwin University have investigated whether removal of the invasive Cenchrus ciliaris (buffel grass) affects the behaviour of local bird species.There is currently little information on the effects of buffel grass on fauna and this research may assist land managers in considering management priorities.
Thirty-six bird species of three foraging guilds were observed over one high-rainfall season at two sites where buffel grass was unmanaged and managed. Buffel grass control was undertaken for 2.5 years prior to bird surveys and allowed for the regeneration of native plant species. The study found that while individual bird species’ responses varied, the control of buffel grass even on a small scale enabled increased bird foraging. The weed is most likely to negatively impact granivorous bird species that prefer native plant forage and an open under-storey.
Buffel grass was introduced to Australia to provide fodder in semiarid and arid regions due to its tolerance to grazing and drought. While it has beneficial uses for pasture and soil stabilisation, the species can considerably alter the structure, composition and function of communities.
Source: CSIRO Publishing
Astron has more than 25 years’ experience in buffel grass management and are engaged in research to understand the species’ impact on native ecosystems. With a good understanding of the species’ ecology, we can provide management strategies that will achieve the most effective outcomes.