It is anticipated that with climate change some pest plant species will expand their range and density and flourish especially with
increased carbon dioxide levels. There may be other species that will decline. Climate change factors that will affect whether plants flourish or decline are:
- Increased temperature.
- Changed rainfall.
- Elevated CO2 levels.
- More extreme weather events.
- Land-use change.
The main factors that will change the current balance are new plant introductions and the spread of naturalised colonising
plants that may explode in distribution and density (i.e. sallow wattle, prickly acacia). Weed species distribution trends for the
Wimmera under predicted climate change scenarios are outlined in Appendix C.
Similarly with invasive animals it is possible that under certain circumstances there may be opportunities to strategically intensify efforts. For example as waterways dry out in times of drought, local efforts to capture and dispose of carp may be
possible. Fox, feral cats and rabbit numbers may also reduce in dry times allowing for control efforts to be more effective.
Government agencies, land managers and the community will need to be alert and have a vigil approach to weed spread
outbreak and control or eradication. Biosecurity is becoming regionally focused and will result in more collaboration and working relationships with all stakeholders and partners who deal with this issue.
The Wimmera Invasive Pest Plant and Animal Strategy (Wimmera CMA, 2010) is the key strategic document that prioritises actions for the Wimmera. Priorities to deal with these risks include:
- Continue to implement and review the Wimmera Invasive Plant and Animal Strategy.
- Continue to conduct regional agency forums around the strategy.
- Inform the community as new invasive plant and animal threats become apparent.
- Support research into the impact of climate change on invasive plants and animals.