Chromolaena Odorata threatens Timor-Leste’s wildlife diversity

Chromolaena Odorata threatens Timor-Leste’s wildlife diversity

Chromolaena Odorata (Photo/special)

DILI, 30 january 2023 (TATOLI) – The intrusion of the exotic invasive devil weed Chromolaena odorata into Timor-Leste’s native wildlife is unstoppable.

The spread of this evil species posed a major threat to Timor-Leste’s native wildlife that could result in the loss of many species.

Chromolaena Odorata is found all over the country as they encroach on the natural habitat of native wildlife in both mountainous and lowland areas.

It has been difficult for the authorities, local communities, and farmers to keep Chromolaena Odorata under control as it spread quickly to new territories in the country.

“This invasive species has significantly destroyed many of our native species. It has spread throughout the national territory and threatens our biodiversity. The spread of his grass is alarming in many areas of fertile and agricultural land as well,” Secretary of State for Environment, Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho told TATOLI at his office, in Dili, today.

In Timor-Leste, this species is grown everywhere in wastelands, alongside roads, tracks, untouched forests, etc.

It is said that the manual removal of this weed (mechanical method) before flowering is an effective means to mitigate the spread of the species.

Carvalho, therefore, said it is a mandate to prevent the loss of native biodiversity due to biological invasions.

To mitigate the effect of Chromolaena Odorata, local farmers should be made aware of its potential dangers to their farmland.

Many countries across the world have developed a national-level policy towards the control of invasive alien weeds in general and implemented it at the earliest before losing indigenous biodiversity once and for all.

Chromolaena odorata is a tropical and subtropical species of flowering shrub in the family Asteraceae. It is native to the Americas, from Florida and Texas in the United States south through Mexico and the Caribbean to South America.



Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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