Plant biosecurity over a given area or region, in this case Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (RBG Melbourne), protects it from the risks of new outbreaks of pests, diseases and weeds (known generally as pests). It is important that new pests do not threaten the health of the 160-year-old living landscape and plant collections at RBG Melbourne.
Prevention rather than cure is the aim of plant biosecurity as many diseases can only be controlled to a limited extent and often are never eliminated. It is also vital that any existing pests are not transported from RBG Melbourne, causing problems for other gardens, agriculture and natural habitats.
RBG Melbourne has developed a Pest Database Biosecurity Policy and Weed Strategic Plan to provide principles and practices that can reduce the risk of new pests being introduced to its landscape or of known pests leaving the Gardens. Howeverthere is much we can all do to help.
Visitors to the Gardens need to be aware of the possibility of introducing new pests into the landscape. For this reason, please do not bring plant material onto the site. Walking onto a garden bed may not seem to be a big deal, but if there are fungal spores or weed seeds on your shoes then they can spread. Collecting cuttings, plants or seeds could result in a pest being carried from the Gardens to cause problems elsewhere.
If you have been in an area (for example, a farm or another garden) where you may have picked up seeds or spores on your shoes, please take time to ensure that they are clean before visiting the Gardens, and do not walk on the garden beds. Above all, please do not remove any plant material without permission from the Director, Melbourne Gardens. Removal of plant material without written authorisation may result in a fine being issued.
However, biosecurity is not limited to plant health and also applies to the protection of ecosystems. If exotic fish such as carp were released into the lake system it would be devastating for the native aquatic flora and fauna that live there.
Please do not release any of your pets (whether amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles) in the Royal Botanic Gardens even if it seems harmless.
More information on invasive plants (weeds) can be found in the Weed Resource and Information Pack (MS Word - 1.16 mb).
Biosecurity is improved through combining border quarantine and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. Border quarantine needs to identify the pathways a significant pest may enter or leave the site. IPM seeks to manage existing pest problems both to reduce damage within the landscape and to reduce the risk of infested material leaving the site. Figure 2- Border Quarantine and Pest Triangle Schematic shows how pathways and improvements to pest management can be identified for the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Border Quarantine and Pest Triangle Schematic (MS Word - 28 kb)
Phytophthora aff megasperma killing Agave attentuata
This is a devastating disease on members of the Agave family and was likely introduced to the Gardens in the early 1990’s. Important wild-collected Agave plants were lost to this disease and it still requires intensive management.
Last updated 30 Nov 2011