Declared Plant Policy False caper (Euphorbia terracina) Background False caper (Euphorbia terracina) is perennial from the coastal sand dunes bordering the Mediterranean, and is now quite widespread in SA on sandy soils long the coast, extending inland especially in areas with calcareous sands. It also occurs in shallow calcareous soils and to a small extent in better soils. It does not appear to persist in frequently cultivated soils, however it is a common weed in old lucerne stands in parts of the South East and Mallee. It is avoided by livestock, probably due to the irritant milky sap it contains. This allows it to dominate in poorly managed pastures, or in areas which are stony or have deep sands which make renovation difficult. Local control boards have poor records of the distribution of widespread weeds such as false caper. It appears to be established in most districts which are suitable for its growth. It is not as widespread as horehound. False caper appears frequently on disturbed roadsides, especially on shallow soils with high calcium carbonate. It is most abundant on abandoned pastures, stock routes, roadsides and deep sands. Mechanisms for spread of false caper are unclear. Some local spread is no doubt due to movement of soil and road building material contaminated with seed. Livestock avoid the plant but some, especially sheep, may ingest seed and this may have been the major mechanism for its spread to its present distribution. Some may also have been spread in fodder, especially lucerne hay. Meeting the criteria False caper is not a weed of pastures in most soil types or a weed of cropping. False caper does not clearly fit the criteria for a declared plant. The areas at risk of invasion need to be studied further. Until the status and potential of false caper are evaluated it should remain declared at least in areas where control boards actively enforce control. Co-ordinated Control Program Aim Allow for currently applied control program to continue while the future of enforced false caper control is reviewed fully. Objectives a) To prevent the introduction of false caper seed to suitable environments for its establishment. b) To minimise spread from generally infested areas. Implementation a) NRM authorities to ensure all small infestations likely to spread in areas generally free of false caper are controlled. b) NRM authorities to control all small infestations likely to be spread on road reserves and after specific approval from the Chief Officer, on stock routes. Priorities for NRM Authorities a) Identify key areas where false caper is likely to contaminate fodder or otherwise spread. b) Develop local control programs. c) Implement co-ordinated programs. d) Enforce control where necessary. Declaration To implement this policy false caper is declared for the whole State. Landholders are required to control plants growing on their own properties, and NRM authorities are required to control plants on road reserves. The costs of control on road reserves is met by adjoining landholders. The following sections of the Natural Resources Management Act, 2004 apply to false caper throughout the State: 175(2) Prohibiting movement on public roads. 177(1)(2) Prohibiting sale of plants or contaminated material 182(2)(3) Requiring landholders to control plants on their properties. 185(1) Allowing recovery of costs of control on road reserves from adjoining landowners.
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