Tasmania is a playground for off-road vehicles. We have our share of challenging hills and terrain, vast areas of untouched wilderness, and no shortage of muddy tracks to explore. The problem is that the mud we pick up along the way can carry microscopic organisms – pests, weed seeds and disease-causing pathogens – that have the potential to devastate the bushland areas we love to explore.
One drop of contaminated moisture or mud from your vehicle is enough to put a pristine area at risk.
One of the major threats we face is an introduced fungus called Chytrid, which has wiped out entire frog populations elsewhere in the world. It’s already popped up at some places in Tasmania and we’re working hard to make sure it doesn’t spread any further.
Another concern, a pathogen called phytophthora, attacks the roots of plants and can destroy entire vegetation communities. It too is already present in the state and it is vital we keep it from spreading.>> Read the full story
Check, Clean, Dry
If you stick to one area all the time then there’s little risk of spreading unwanted organisms around. But the very nature of off-road exploring means travelling long distances through very different types of country. It is therefore crucial that you don’t unwittingly carry a microscopic hitchhiker between rides.
Some people from other states believe that if their vehicle is clean before they get here then there’s no need to be so careful when moving between sites in Tasmania. That’s not the case. We already have some introduced pests, weeds and disease-causing pathogens in this state and it is vital that we limit their spread.
Make sure your car, motorcycle or quad-bike and the equipment you travel with (your boots, recovery gear, shovels …) are spotless each time you explore a new place.
Check, Clean and Dry your vehicle and equipment between uses, and if you can’t be sure your gear will dry before you next use it, Disinfect as well.
- When washing your vehicle, hose off all the mud you can find, and pay particular attention to the hard-to-reach places such as tyre tread, mudguards, and underneath the chassis.
- Don’t forget to wash your muddy gear and clothing too.
- If your vehicle is unlikely to dry completely before you visit another site, use F10 disinfectant to kill any microorganisms that might be hiding (be careful where you drain it – although it is a biodegradable, low-toxicity veterinary disinfectant F10 should be kept away from waterways).
These short videos will help you to understand the significance of the problem we face here in Tasmania.