Beware deadly invaders



THE invaders are coming.

Fresh from a warning about banded grunter entering the Clarence River system, we now learn that pandanus dieback has been detected at Yamba.

Pandanus dieback has decimated stands of the plant on the Far North Coast, with up to 50 per cent of the plant population in the Noosa National Park on the Sunshine Coast being wiped out.

The dieback is spread through the pandanus planthopper, a small insect about eight millimetres long, which feeds on the plant, produces a sugary honey dew excretion, which in turn leads to sooty mould and plant death.

Although only one infected plant has been found on the Clarence ? an imported nursery plant at Yamba ? authorities have been quick to respond.

The Clarence Valley Council has joined a pandanus planthopper working group and has inspected all coastal areas for evidence of an outbreak.

But it is also calling on the public to keep an eye out for the pest and to notify council of any suspicious plants. A report to the council said the planthoppers could lead to the extinction of an iconic North Coast plant species.



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