Saturday, March 2, 2024

Hawke’s Bay stamps out yellow water lily

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council says it has eradicated the invasive pest plant, the yellow water lily, from all known Hawke’s Bay locations after thirty years of work. 

Council Biosecurity Biodiversity Advisor, Darin Underhill says a final check of known locations in early January has confirmed all traces of the plant were gone.

“We started control of yellow water lily in the 90’s, so the plant had been around for many years,” said Mr Underhill.

“We started with Horseshoe Lake in Central Hawke’s Bay, half of which was covered in yellow water lilies at the time. I sprayed the last piece on this lake in 2009, around 19 years later.

“I found more growth on a dam nearby, and it was another seven years before that was gone. The last known location was discovered in 2019 and was eradicated two years later in 2021.

“It’s been a mammoth effort by different teams during the last thirty or so years, and we’re pleased our checks since 2021 have proven the plant has not grown back in any locations.”

Mr Underhill said the eradication is a huge win for the region as yellow water lily has a negative impact on water and wildlife wherever it grows.

“It’s dense, spreads quickly, and the large leaves cover water surfaces, blocking sunlight for other plants while changing the habitat for other organisms. Yellow water lily can easily choke out any healthy lake, pond, or stream,” he said.

Council says all previously infested areas will be monitored every three years to ensure there is no new growth.

If anyone believes they have found yellow water lily on their property, contact the Regional Council’s Biosecurity team on 06 835 9200 or visit hbrc.govt.nz and search #pesthub.

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