The City helps to manage and treat various introduced and naturally-occurring diseases in its natural areas, implementing various management practices to control the impacts of these diseases.
Phytophthora Dieback is a soil-borne pathogen that invades the root systems of susceptible plant species, eventually leading to death. Recent research has indicated many different species of Phytophthora Dieback exist in Perth soils and probably have been introduced from many parts of the world. The infections cause vegetation communities to be significantly modified which, in turn, affects native animals. The City of Canning manages Phytophthora Dieback by treating infected areas with phosphite on a three-yearly cycle. To do this, the City has installed Dieback Protection Area signs to warn visitors about the presence of dieback and has recently started planting dieback resistant seedlings to restore infected areas. The transfer of wet soil on shoes and vehicles is the most common way the Dieback is spread. You can help by observing the City's signs, walking on designated pathways and brushing down your shoes on entry to dieback free bushland areas. If you have bushland on your property and think you have noticed plants dying, contact the City’s Parks Conservation Officer, who can discuss dieback identification and appropriate treatment options.
Marri Canker Disease and Quambalaria Shoot Blight
Marri Canker Disease is a naturally-occurring disease identified as a contributing factor to the decline in health of our local Marri trees. Marri Canker is more prevalent in disturbed areas such as road verges, medians and parks. Recent research has indicated that factors such as soil nutrients and mycorrhizal associations may make marri trees more susceptible to infection. The City is monitoring Marri trees for symptoms of the disease which may include large areas of cracked bark, large amounts of exuded red gum and white powdery masses on diseased areas.
Similarly, Quambalaria Shoot Blight is an introduced disease from the east coast of Australia that stunts growth and attacks shoots, leaves and flower buds of Marri. The City will continue to record and report incidences of these diseases and participate in treatment trials where possible.
Botulism is a form of bacterial toxin affecting waterbirds. It is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When water conditions are favourable such as warm temperatures, high organic matter and low oxygen levels, the bacteria spores multiply resulting in the production of the toxin. Waterbirds become infected by swallowing the toxin, usually by eating food containing the bacterium. Poisoned birds are usually paralysed and need to be treated immediately to avoid death. The City of Canning helps to manage botulism by recording possible incidences of the disease and reporting them to the Department of Agriculture and Food. The City assists in the maintenance of healthy waterways through revegetation and restoration activities that help to prevent the water conditions suitable for the growth of the bacterium. The City's Natural Areas Team also help by rescuing sick birds and delivering them to appropriate wildlife shelters. The City discourages the feeding of waterbirds because human foods can significantly increase the nutrient loading of a waterway and produce favourable conditions for the growth of the bacterium. The City advises against the practice of bird feeding through the use of educational signage and public media releases. For more information, download the To Feed or Not to Feed? brochure.