Myrtle Rust - Alert
"Last Friday (25 May )was the Cassowary Recovery Team meeting at the Wet Tropics Management Authority. One topic of discussion was the rapid emergence of Myrtle Rust in the region. This destructive exotic fungal disease has now invaded Mossman Gorge, Smithfield Conservation park and has been detected North of the Daintree River" It has been found to be particularly infectious on the soft fleshy fruited members of the Myrtaceae family (over 50 species).
These also happen to make up a large part of the diet of Cassowary putting this already endangered species under even greater threat". Alan Sheather, Daintree Cassowary Group facebook.
Myrtle Rust was first detected on a property on the central coast of New South Wales in late April 2010. It has now been detected in numerous locations in Queensland and New South Wales ranging from commercial plant nurseries, public amenities and large areas of bushland.
It is extremely worrying to know that it is not technically feasible to eradicate this plant disease which has spread into the World Heritage Wet Tropics.
Spores are spread by wind, people, vehicles, animals and bees.