Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is asking residents to be on the look out for a weed which could be potentially destructive to the native environment.
Council's biosecurity officer Matt Bell said the highly invasive aquatic weed, known as kidney-leaf mud plantain, was discovered for the first time in the Port Macquarie-Hastings last week.
He said residents who have ponds in their backyards, or who are aquatic enthusiasts might unknowingly have the weed on their private property, without being aware of its threat.
The weed, Mr Bell said, can upset the balance of the native environment and can pose a threat to its inhabitants.
This is due to the weed's fast growing nature and its ability to form dense mats that smother shallow fresh water bodies and degrade water quality.
Thanks to the efforts of council's Invasive Weed Team, Mr Bell said the weed was removed from the area where it was sighted and there is no evidence to suggest it has spread.
Mr Bell said it's likely the weed came to be in the location upstream of Kooloonbung Creek either due to human error or as a deliberate act.
The weed isn't being sold commercially, however Mr Bell said it's possible it could have been traded within circles of aquatic enthusiasts.
In the short term, Mr Bell said it's not likely the weed did extensive damage to wildlife including frogs, fish and other animals.
However if left undiscovered, it would have presented a threat to the important aquatic habitat.
Residents who find the weed are asked to contact council's biosecurity weeds officer on 6581 8111.
It can be identified by the kidney shaped leaf and tiny white to pale blue flowers.
For more information on illegal water plants and other weeds, visit council's website at https://www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/.../Weeds-and-Biosecu.../Water-weeds
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