How we report weeds is changing
Support native species by tackling pest plants
Protecting our native ecosystems is only possible if we control damaging weeds which compete with and force out our native plant species.
This battle to protect our native species requires a range of methods and tools.
One of these methods is the ability to provide up-to-date information on the location and status of pest plants so they can be located and controlled.
For several years, PFK has used an online tool, EcoTrack, for recording and sharing information about pest plants, which has done a fine job in its time and was truly groundbreaking (thank you, EcoTrack).
Now, we are moving to a new tool for reporting weeds called the EcoNet CAMS Weed App. EcoNet.NZ is a charitable trust set up to support conservation and restoration activities and 'CAMS' stands for Conservation Activity Management System.
If you ever used EcoTrack to report weeds, get in touch now to learn how to transition to the EcoNet CAMS Weed App
To a user of the CAMS Weed App it appears as an interactive, online map which displays weed reports and weed visits.
For those of you who follow STAMP on Facebook, you’ll see that the CAMS Weed App is similar to the old STAMP map - the CAMS app has been developed in association with STAMP so we can all collaborate in the same system, joining forces to increase our impact on the pesky pests.
The introduction of the CAMS Weed App in association with STAMP is big part of the push to get more people to pull out or kill moth plant before the pods form this summer.
Weed data in your area
Following initial training, registered users for the EcoNet CAMS Weed App will have access to a map to add their own weed reports and to update the status of existing weeds. You will be able to look up your street or local reserve and see what weeds are present now and in the past year.
We often underestimate the effort that volunteers put into restoring our neighborhoods. By adding to the reports, your effort will be recognised.
Get in touch now if you want to report weeds you see or the control work you do.
Our aim is for more people to be involved in the fight against environmental weeds by using the new weed maps - motivated by trying to change their suburb or street from “purple” to “green and gold” (if that doesn't mean anything to you yet, we hope it will soon - read the guide 'EcoNet CAMS Weed App' for an explanation).
PFK and EcoNet are also planning a map with up-to-date weed data and progress that anyone can view. And we are working together to develop a way for all users to report weed locations and status from their mobile devices. More of this in the coming weeks.
The more we know about the weeds, the more effective we can be
Protecting our native ecosystems is only possible if we control environmental weeds which compete with and damage our native plant species. Control of these pest weeds is essential, but is limited by resources. To ensure we are using these resources effectively, we use the information we have on locations and status of pest plants, and share this with volunteers, restoration groups, and the community as a whole.
Therefore, the more data we have on these weeds, the greater impact we can achieve.
And the more people who share information about weeds in our area, the more efficient our community can be at controlling them.
Getting rid of weeds before they damage our natural environment is a major part of the native restoration work that goes on in our community. And the sharing of information about weeds fosters better communication and follow-up actions which prevent early effort being wasted. The EcoNet CAMS Weed App will enable us to achieve this.
Help turn back the silent invasion of pest plants
As an example of the importance of these nuisance plants, the “silent invasion” of environmental weeds was recently highlighted in a government report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton titled 'Turning back a silent invasion'.
If you have ever reported or controlled weeds in Kaipātiki we are asking you to join us by providing data on weeds and your weed visits in a shared database, so we can be more effective and efficient at tackling these damaging pests.
Protect our native plants, so they can support native birds and other wildlife. Join the fight against pest plants today.
PFK are involved in a project surveying pest plants across properties in Kaipātiki. The shocking results so far reveal how far environmental weeds are distributed in private gardens and show us that invasive weeds are a problem that we can only tackle if everyone chips in.
The CAMS Weed App will be a game changer because it will facilitate the engagement of Kaipātiki residents. After initial training they will be able to look up weed locations in their neighbourhood, report infestations in their gardens, can ask for help with removal or record their progress. And PFK will provide the resources so there are fewer barriers to controlling weeds.
How can you be involved?
There are lots of roles you can help with to help support our native species - some are out in the fresh air, others are home desk roles.
Ways you can help:
Reporting weed locations in the app
Communicating through social media, street posters, letterbox drops, etc
Coordinating with neighbours and volunteers and other kaitiaki
Mentoring neighbours, new volunteers, etc
Negotiating access - whether by visiting neighbours or writing to businesses or organisations
Removing weeds whether in your backyard or as a member of a local pest plant hit squad or weed ninja group
Monitoring the database to ensure the data is of high quality and accuracy - important to ensure we all maximise our impact
Over time we will be adding more functionality in our new system and presenting some of these on our website, such as a summary of weeds or pest animals in your area. So keep an eye out in the near future for further updates via our website, newsletter and Facebook pages.
In the meantime, if you would like to be one of the early users of the Weed App, visit this page to learn more: EcoNet CAMS Weed App.
Or email us using the subject 'Sign me up for the new Weed App!'
the more weed data we collect,...
the more weeds we can control,...
and the more support we can give our native species in Kaipātiki.