A new mobile application is being developed to allow members of the public to record and map sightings of cactus infestations in Western Australia’s rangelands.
Funded by Rangelands NRM, the application will feed reported cactus sightings to a centralised database and website, hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), with the individual sightings viewable on a map.
Rangelands NRM Program Manager, Southern Rangelands, Jane Bradley said cactus weeds can render large tracts of land useless for production, and pose a threat to smaller species of native wildlife, which can become trapped on the cactus spines.
"Members of the rangelands community can develop a better understanding of the extent and size of cactus infestations by using the new application," she said.
“Local landcare groups, producer groups and agency staff have helped us scope the application and we’ll be encouraging them to use it while they are out and about. Every report submitted will build the overall knowledge of cactus in the WA rangelands.”
The information gleaned from this application will provide important knowledge of the range of cactus in the WA rangelands, their location and size of infestations, and the species present, which is not currently available in any great detail today.
The information can then be used to inform decisions on when and where to undertake control efforts for the weed.
Now in the testing phase, the application is expected to be released in July 2015.
Home screen of iCactus application.