October 2005: FIDO has been weeding around Eurong on and off for decades. These efforts were initially limited to short weekend trips, which although helpful, were not cost effective. In 2005, with the help of a 4WD troop carrier and an offer of assistance from a team of bush regenerators led by Stephanie and Julian Lymburner from Ballina NSW, FIDO was able for the first time to engage in a longer, more intensive weeding effort. These longer trips were to be based on the weeding program used on Lord Howe Island, with volunteers spending half the time working and half the time exploring and enjoying the environment. The volunteers contributed to their own costs for food and accommodation.
Over the next two years, the Lymburners, with George Haddock and Su Dawson, led three of these longer weeding trips. The teams of volunteers began their work in three areas, which would continue to absorb much of FIDO’s efforts over the next decade—Jarvis Street, problem corner, and the area at the back of Eurong Resort. These first photos were taken in October 2005, two months prior to the establishment of FINIA.
December 2005: An inspection of Jarvis Street was conducted following the establishment of FINIA because the dumping of garden waste in the form of large trees was common in this area, and because the Maryborough City Council had recently thinned the Cypress on the northern side of the road.
May 2006: Stephanie returned and continued weeding in Eurong, with a heavy emphasis on Jarvis Street.
2011 to 2014: FIDO began a more systematic approach to weeding around Eurong in August 2011, and has since continued to send three teams annually to work for a week at a time.
During this time FIDO has had to continually remove trailer loads of garden waste from an illegal dump on the opposite side of the road to the houses on Jarvis Street. This dump has become a seedbed for weeds, including the aggressive and difficult to control Madiera Vine. The following photo shows the large Madiera Vine that was found at Jarvis Street: luckily the only known instance of this vine on the island.
Eradicating this Madeira Vine was made difficult by the continual dumping of garden waste over the sources of the infestation. It also needed to be removed from the upper branches of the surrounding cypress—a challenge taken up by Michael Lowe. Thankfully, the persistence of FIDO’s weeding program has paid off, and this weed appears to have been eliminated before it was too late.
August 2014: A formal photo-monitoring site, allowing two sightings, was established at Jarvis Street, opposite the taxi house, in August 2014.
One sighting looks west, targeting the garden waste dump site, which has been a constant source of annoyance and a major weed seedbed for over a decade.
The second sighting looks east, covering much of the Jarvis Street area that has been a focus of FIDO’s decade-long weed management program. This was the site of the efforts to eliminate the Madeira Vine.
As of 2015, it seems the collective efforts to control weeds around Jarvis Street have been successful. However, the site requires continued monitoring.