Joint transboundary removal of an invasive plant

Published: 18 November 2016
Last edited: 29 November 2016
Invasive plants occurred on both sides of the Thaya River, which serves as the international boundary and the border between the two national parks. Plants were removed from both sides of the river by staff from the respective parks, and removal of plants took place following their detection by the monitoring effort. When the joint eradication project was originally proposed by Podyjí National Park, staff of Thayatal National Park were sceptical of the efficiency of the efforts to remove the invasive plant based on their knowledge of many unsuccessful eradication attempts in other areas. Thayatal National Park was therefore only willing to invest a small amount of resources initially to test whether the eradication efforts would work. After initial successes, Thayatal National Park contributed resources to conduct more substantial removal measures jointly with Podyjí National Park. As both parks are opposed to the use of pesticides, individual plants needed to be removed by hand and preferably during the adolescent life stages before seeds emerged. Otherwise, seeds could be spread during removal of the adult plants. Nevertheless, mowing measures proved very effective in places of larger stocks.  

Classifications

Category
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Local
Multi-national
Phase of solution
Inception phase
Implementation

Enabling factors

The removal process had been initiated by Podyjí before establishment of Thayatal National Park, which reduced the effort needed through the joint eradication. Second, geomorphology within the river valley section running through the parks is relatively unfavorable for rapid expansion of the plant. Third, removal of plants by Czech staff on Austrian soil became easier after Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. Before, border police had to be informed every time staff crossed the border.

Lessons learned

A big lesson learned for both National Parks was the need to cooperate across the state border and between the two protected areas to jointly implement nature conservation measures. This especially applied to the removal of invasive species in a river valley that is situated on the border.