At the forefront of consolidating a new volunteer ethos of “adventure conservation” to tackle conservation issues, Wildcare SPRATS (Sea sPurge Remote Area TeamS) are a crack team of weeders who are out to eradicate sea spurge from the remote beaches of the west coast of Tasmania.

This community partnership with Tas Parks & Wildlife has generated real benefits for wilderness conservation and provides fulfilment and fun for volunteers.

……….”We concentrate on getting the work done but work hard at having a good time.”

SPRATS began their work in 2006/2007 and every year since then, 25-70 volunteers (representing over $2.1 million labour) have worked on Tasmania’s west coast from Macquarie Harbour to Cockle Creek – representing approximately 850kms of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage coastline and the results are impressive.

They focus on sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias) and marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) – both of which are major weed threats with the capacity to:

  • transform ecosystems
  • impact geoheritage values
  • transform beach structure
  • displace native species and,
  • impact shore birds by forcing them to nest and feed closer to the wave zone.

Sea spurge

This article presents results to date, and outlines future plans including the status of a promising biocontrol agent for sea spurge .