Main Creek Landcare Karamu Eradication Project

Eradicating a devastating weed from the Mornington Peninsula

Karamu, Coprosma robusta is an introduced and highly invasive plant from New Zealand that is having devastating consequences for natural ecosystems on the Mornington Peninsula. It grows very rapidly to form dense thickets that outcompete other vegetation, leaving the ground beneath completely bare. Areas infested with Karamu are unable to support native wildlife because Karamu does not provide the suitable shelter, nesting material or year-round supply of food required. In addition, where Karamu covers sufficient ground, it disrupts the ability for animals to move freely through the wider landscape. Worryingly, Karamu can hybridise with another local indigenous plant, Coprosma quadrifida, polluting the gene pool of this native species. Karamu can also be easily confused with the rare and indigenous Muttonwood plant, and care and expertise is required when undertaking control.

Karamu occurs in the Main Ridge, Red Hill and Flinders regions of the Mornington Peninsula, where it is establishing itself in areas of remnant roadside vegetation, private property, biolinks, national park and bushland reserves. Main Creek Catchment Landcare aims to address this threat to local biodiversity by eradicating Karamu from the Mornington Peninsula altogether. This will be done by raising the profile of Karamu as a serious weed threat, conducting education campaigns using various forms of media, working with all key stakeholders, undertaking large scale control using skilled bushland regenerators, and hosting regular working bees for community volunteers.

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Native vegetation
Other Themes:Waterways, Native animals, Land Use, Soil Health, Communities
Primary Local Area:Mornington Peninsula
Other Local Areas:
Project location:Red Hill, Main Ridge, Flinders
Scale of the project:Landscape
New or continuing work:Continuing/building on previous work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Main Creek Catchment Landcare Group
Key partners:Red Hill South Landcare, Parks Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Greens Bush Association
Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation

Investment opportunities

Opportunities for investors within this project start from:$$ (Tens of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target and contribution to its achievement:This project will contribute to the following region-wide targets:

Pest and weed control – At least 316,800 hectares of pest herbivore control and 105,600 hectares of weed control undertaken in priority areas in this region between 2017 and 2050 (an average of at least 9,600 and 3,200 hectares per year respectively).

Diversity of native animals – Maintain the diversity of native animal species in the region from 2021 to 2050 and ensure the populations are sustainable, secure, healthy and resilient.

Community volunteering – Community volunteering for natural resource management surpasses 1 million hours per year.
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Undertake weed or pest herbivore control to maintain and enhance vegetation quality in priority areas
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Soil/biodiversity – Projects that will protect and enhance on-farm remnant native vegetation

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