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Tackling weeds and pest animals

Weeds and pest animals threaten biodiversity across NSW national parks. Working together with similar agencies, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service manages programs that tackle these threats.

Read more about Tackling weeds and pest animals

Pest animals prey on native animals and plants. They compete with native animals for food and trample native vegetation. Weeds smother native plants and take over an environment where native plants would otherwise grow.

Pest animals and weeds can also cause significant damage to areas that are culturally and historically important, like Aboriginal rock art sites. At NPWS, we recognise the serious impacts that pest animals and weeds have on native plants, animals and the environment. We’ve implemented a range of programs to tackle them.

How we manage weeds and pests

Weed program

Weeds smother Australian native plants so effectively that they leave no room for biodiversity to thrive. They impact our national parks by competing with native plants for water, sunlight and space. They can form dense areas of vegetation that kill native plants, which in turn has a harmful effect on native animals. Weeds reduce these animals' food sources and destroy the habitat that is essential to their survival.

Managing weeds in NSW national parks

We plan weed control programs for where they’ll have the most benefit for biodiversity and the greatest cultural and community value. For example, weeds might be removed from areas where they’re impacting threatened species and their habitat.

We develop weed control programs across NSW national parks and document these in our pest management strategies for each region. Our aim is:

  • to prevent or reduce the amount of new and emerging weeds
  • to help stop the destructive impact of weeds on threatened plants and animals, agriculture and cultural heritage.

Pest animal program

A pest animal is:

  • an animal that was originally domesticated and escaped into the wild, or
  • an animal taken from its native environment in another country and brought into Australia.

Pest animals threaten native animals and plants. They can also damage the environment, agriculture and cultural heritage. Pest animals have a terrible impact on native species by preying on them, competing for food and shelter, destroying habitat and spreading diseases.

Managing pest animals

We’ve implemented a series of programs and strategies to tackle the pest animal problem. Our priorities for managing pest animals include:

  • removing foxes to the north of Sydney, where they impact threatened native animals including the brush-tail rock-wallaby
  • reducing the number of wild goats in western NSW, where they graze on threatened native plants such as purple-wood wattle
  • working with other agencies on feral cat programs across NSW

NPWS threatened species programs provide for the control of pest animals to protect threatened species across NSW. These programs include:

Working together

We work with Saving our Species, the Department of Primary Industries and other land management agencies to strategise, do research and fund key weed and pest animal management activities.

Want to help?

You can help us stop the spread of weeds into your local national park and reduce the impact of pest animals. Find out some simple ways you can help in how you garden and care for your pets. If you’ve got the time, join up for one of our NPWS volunteer activities near you.