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It's time for action on buffel.

Key facts:

  • Buffel is an incredible carrier of fire and competes with native grasses.
  • Buffel has only spread widely in the last 20-30 years, which means its full impact has not been realised.
  • Buffel ranks higher than any other environmental threat in terms of its social and cultural impacts for Aboriginal people.
  • Buffel is still not considered a weed in the Northern Territory and continues to be grown on pastoral properties.

Buffel grass is now considered to be the single greatest environmental threat to arid ecosystems. It out-competes native grasses and alters habitats, leading to more dangeous fires, significant biodiversity loss and loss of Aboriginal culture. 

Native to parts of Africa and Asia, buffel grass is a perennial tussock grass that was introduced to Australia to provide pasture for stock and to stabilise soils that were eroded as a result of over grazing. Many pastoralists in the Northern Territory continue to grow and spread it.

Buffel grass poses a significant threat to arid ecosystems, communities and Aboriginal culture. Buffel has an extremely high fuel load and causes very hot, widespread, frequent fires. It destroys habitat it poses a catastrophic threat to native wildlife. Buffel affects the availability of bush tucker and is a threat to Aboriginal culture.

The good news is that research shows once buffel is properly managed, native flora and fauna can bounce back.  There is an urgent need to prevent the deliberate spread of buffel grass and for management on a much larger scale in the NT.

ALEC is campaigning for:

  • Buffel grass to be declared a class b weed (for management, not eradication.)
  • Strategic, coordinated and committed action to manage this invasive species at local, regional, Territory and National levels.
  • Scaling-up of efforts to inform and engage the community around the threat buffel grass poses.
  • Funding for buffel-free sanctuaries to protect our rangelands from invasion.
  • The development of a national monitoring tool to track the spread and impact of buffel and further research on buffel’s impacts upon different ecological communities.

Download ALEC's info sheet on buffel.

What you can do:

Donate to Help Stop the Spread

Your generous gift will help in the urgent fight to stop the spread of buffel grass across Central Australia - Donate Today.

Sign the Petition

We are fighting for a strategic, coordinated and committed approach to protecting the arid lands' ecological and cultural values from its greatest invasive species threat. Help us by putting your name to our petition campaigning to get the Northern Territory Government to take action. Sign the Petition here

Become a buffel volunteer

Write a letter in the paper

We all feel pretty strongly about protecting the unique desert landscapes we call home and our way of life in Central Australia. But, our lifestyle, landscapes and arid ecosystems are increasingly threatened by the spread of buffel grass.

You can help raise the profile of this dangerous threat, by writing a letter to the NT News.

Some tips on writing your letter:

  • Why are you writing a letter about buffel grass? How does it affect you personally?
  • What do you want to see happen?
  • Short and concise, but personal is best. No more than 300 words in total.

Protect your patch

Download this guide for managing buffel grass in Central Australia which outlines how to draw a map to identify the location of buffel on your land,  determine a management program and choose effective control methods.




Cover photo: Jennifer Firn, from The Conversation