The arrival of spring marks the start of wildflower season and as many of Western Australia’s parks and reserves burst into colour, people are being reminded to take care around native flowers.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA) Parks and Wildlife Service and the City of Bunbury are urging people to refrain from picking or trampling wildflowers, following concerns about the taking of native plants and the number of visitors that are not staying on designated walk trails in reserves, such as Manea Park.
Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Parks Coordinator Aminya Ennis said many wildflower seedlings, such as orchids, are still emerging and visitors who stray from the trails can unintentionally crush them before they have had a chance to bloom.
“People travel from throughout the State to see and photograph spectacular native wildflowers and it’s important that we don’t disturb them so that everyone can have a chance to enjoy them,” Ms Ennis said.
“Unfortunately, if these plants do get damaged, they can take years to grow back, if at all.” City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said by sticking to the designated paths, visitors can also help limit the spread of Phytophthora dieback, an incurable disease which kills susceptible plants by attacking their root systems.
“The bushland at Manea Park is highly susceptible to dieback disease and it only takes a tiny amount of soil on the soles of shoes for the disease to spread,” Mayor Brennan said.
“I encourage visitors not only to stay on the designated paths, but also to use the shoe cleaning stations that are maintained by the Friends of Manea Park.”
Under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018 substantial penalties apply to people picking, cutting or pulling up native plants without a licence.
Manea Park is part of the proposed Kalgulup Regional Park. People are encouraged to have their say on the park’s draft management plan by visiting dbca.wa.gov.au/haveyoursay prior to 15 October 2020.