SALVINIA WEEVILS BREEDING PROGRAM IN SCHOOLS

The objective of this project is to engage and support Burdekin schools to breed Salvinia weevils to release into local lagoons and waterways for biological control of Salvinia as part of the 'Protecting the RAMSAR wetlands of Bowling Green Bay' project.

Ideal water temperature, nutrient and dissolved oxygen concentrations for Salvinia culture were determined and reproduced in grow-out tubs located at Maidavale State School. The necessary permits for collection of Salvinia from local watercourses to grow in the tubs were also obtained.

Salvinia weed - Salvinia molesta - is regarded as one of the most invasive aquatic weeds in Australia and has considerable environmental and economic impact. Salvinia floats on still or slow-moving water, growing rapidly to cover the surface like a thick mat which blocks out submerged plant life and limits the transfer of oxygen, making water unsuitable for fish and other animals. Weevils attack by eating the leaves and stems, destroying the roots and causing the weed to sink.

For more information on Salvinia weed and Salvinia weevils please take a look at our Fact Sheet.