THE apparent poisoning of an endangered shrub has been described as a tragedy for the Buderim community.
Meredith Walker, who is researching the history of trees in Buderim, said the recent destruction of Buderim holly on council land specially purchased for its preservation was terrible.
A recent inspection found 45 plants had been damaged in recent weeks.
Some plants were recovering, but the impact was substantial.
“I’m disappointed. It’s tragic,” Ms Walker said.
“This is an important feature of Buderim’s natural environment.”
She said an urgent review was needed to promote the Buderim holly.
“We need to get a community group who might take an interest in the site in the long term.”
Known by its scientific name of graptophyllum reticulatum, Buderim holly is a slow-growing shrub of 1-2.5m in height and 1.5m wide.
It’s native to Woombye and Buderim.
According to the Federal Government’s Environment Department website, there are between 700-1000 plants in the Buderim area, approximately 400 in Triunia National Park near Woombye and about 100 in freehold land near Triunia National Park.
Division 6 councillor Christian Dickson, who on Friday toured the targeted Buderim site with his father, Buderim MP Steve Dickson, said the matter was serious.
“When it comes down to this, you can’t make a mistake like this,” he said.
“You can’t go on to council land and go after one particular species of plant. It’s an offence in the simplest terms.
“I was there and I could tell that everything else was fine. It was just this one species that has been targeted. There is no reason for it.”
Cr Dickson said council had purchased the land in 2006 primarily for the holly with environmental funding.
“We need to better look after the area, do more checks to make sure plants are healthy and things aren’t being poisoned,” he said.
Council is now rushing an application to the Department of Environment and Resource Management to begin repropagation.
DERM is also looking to prosecute those responsible for the poisoning.