Beggars’ ticks on weed control chopping block

Efforts to catch Beggars’ ticks in the Ōtukaikino Living Memorial Wetland are being boosted thanks to more than $16,000 of Immediate Steps biodiversity funding being given the tick.

Wildlands field team member Emma Holdaway with a mature stand of Beggars' tick

Wildlands field team member Emma Holdaway with a mature stand of Beggars' ticks

Goals for the Beggars' ticks project 

The two-year project aims to control the pest plant before it takes over the Ōtukaikino Wildlife Management Reserve.

The project being led by Lamb and Hayward Living Memorial Trust aims to eliminate the presence of targeted weed species (Beggars' tick) within the site and increase the density and diversity of native vegetation by 2025.

Threat to wetlands and waterways 

Beggars' ticks are a prolific weed, and are considered a threat to areas with low stature native vegetation. It seems to be contained only within the Ōtukaikino Living Memorial Wetland at this stage but has the potential to spread via waterways easily if left uncontrolled. 

Progress was stalled by the COVID-19 lock-down so a concerted effort is needed to get the project back on track.

Weed control a success  

Matthew Brosnahan, Development Ranger for the Lamb and Hayward Living Memorial Trust said phase one of the project has gone exceptionally well.

“The Living Memorial Trust aims to have an exemplary wetland with few weeds, so this weed control project plays an important role in achieving our goal.

“In phase one more than 340 hours were spent removing 23,000 Beggars' ticks plants by staff from Wildlands Consultants Ltd and Department of Conservation staff,” he said.

Replanting with natives 

As part of the project, Swamp Kiokio (a native fern) was planted in open spaces around the wetland edge by volunteers to prevent the Beggars' ticks from growing.

Christchurch West Melton Water Zone Committee chair, Kevin Brown, said it’s exciting to see phase one of a project complete.

“This weed control work will help protect and restore an important wetland, which is a key goal for the zone committee.

“It is great to be able to work in partnership with committed groups and individuals that are passionate about making a positive difference to our precious environment,” he said.

Biodiversity funding 

Immediate Steps funding is available for projects that begin to restore our ecosystems and to work with nature to improve water quality.

Find out how to apply for funding for biodiversity projects in your area.