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Extending the National Bitou Bush Containment Zone

Bitou bushNorth Coast Local Land Services has commenced a project to extend the National Northern Bitou Bush Containment Zone into the Byron Shire.

The South African shrub was widely planted between the 1940s and 1960s to stabilise dunes after sand mining. In the absence of natural enemies and, with its ability to rapidly grow and set seed, Bitou Bush flourished, forming vast thickets and preventing natural regeneration.

In 2000, National Bitou Bush Containment Zones were established – the northern zone to prevent the weed species from re-colonising Queensland and the southern zone to halt its spread into Victoria.

The three-year project will partner with Byron Shire Council, Crown Lands, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, North Coast Holiday Parks and local Landcare groups to improve coastal zone biodiversity by reducing the density of Bitou Bush between Cape Byron and the Tweed-Byron shire boundary.

The Byron Project represents the next strategic stage in the containment of Bitou Bush and builds on the successes of neighbouring Queensland and Tweed Shire-based projects which have resulted in the eradication of Bitou Bush.  

In addition to reducing the weed's density, the Project will increase the capacity and coordination of the community and land managers to control bitou and will promote the recovery of 14 threatened species and seven endangered communities.

The Beating Byron's Bitou Bush Project is managed by North Coast Local Land Services with funding from the New South Wales Government through the Environmental Trust Program. Questions about the Project can be directed to Melinda Cox on 6623 3925.

Media contact
Melinda Cox, Senior Land Services Officer
Phone 6623 3925

Photo caption:          
Bitou bush