Green marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) and orange pīngao (Desmoschoenus spiralis), an endemic sedge, grow on fore dunes (those closest to the beach) at Mason Bay on Stewart Island. Marram grass was introduced as part of efforts to farm the area in the 1930s. Since 1958, when it was first monitored, the marram grass has spread steadily. By 1998 it completely covered the foredunes and was moving inland. In 2000 the Department of Conservation began spraying the herbicide Gallant, which kills grasses but not sedges, with the aim of eradicating marram grass at Mason Bay.
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Photograph by Carl Walrond
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