Horizons Regional Council is asking for community help to locate Alligator Weed

Horizons urges communities to report any sightings of one of the world’s worst weeds, Alligator Weed, in the Mangaone Stream and the lower Manawatū catchment. This area includes the stream area north of Colyton through Palmerston North to the Manawatū River, and down to Foxton Beach.

This pest plant takes over pastures, is toxic to stock, clogs our waterways and creates flood risk.
Horizons biosecurity programme coordinator for plants Craig Davey says Alligator Weed spreads aggressively and thrives on both water and land.
“Alligator Weed can spread by water movement such as floods, eel nets and boats. However, it can also spread via farm machinery, soil movement, and diggers.
“Once in a waterway stem fragments can disperse and grow rapidly, destroying the environmental, recreational and aesthetic values we hold dear. It can also double in area size in just two months.
“We are asking the public to check boats, trailers, vehicles and equipment for fragments before travelling between waterbodies to ensure the fragments are not transported to new sites. We also implore farmers to insist that all contractors practice good weed hygiene and clean their equipment before entering the farm. Make sure supplementary feed, aggregates, soil and sand brought onto the farm is weed-free.”

Mr Davey urges duck shooters, hunters, farmers, landowners and occupiers to report any possible sightings of Alligator Weed to the pest plant team at Horizons Regional Council.
“You can identify the plant by its low-growing leaves generally arranged in opposite pairs along hollow reddish horizontal stems. If you suspect a plant may be Alligator Weed, do not remove it yourself. Call the pest plant team and we will take care of it.
“Removing the plant yourself may result in further spreading of it. We also need to keep track of where this pest has been seen,” explains Mr Davey.

The weed was first spotted in Palmerston North during Alert Level 4 in late March 2020. The only previously known location of the weed in the Horizons Region was the Taumarunui effluent ponds, which makes this new find very concerning.
Report sightings by emailing Craig Davey at craig.davey@horizons.govt.nz, by messaging through the Horizons social media pages, or call freephone 0508 800 800.
For more information about Alligator Weed, go to https://www.horizons.govt.nz/Managing-Natural-Resources/Plant-Animal-Pests/Alligator-Weed