The good news...
Only the most degraded environments lose all their native plants.
Even a lone wattle can support insects, birds, fungi and even mammals. I
n places that appear to be a waste of privet and lantana a few native trees and stunted seedlings of native plants may be waiting for you to rescue them.
If you remove the weeds, the natives are able to take on new vigour and sow their seeds in vacant spaces. Then the birds and the butterflies will come back. It's well worth the effort to control weeds!
Not so good...
Plants introduced from other continents are rarely food for native wildlife. Native insects don't usually feed on introduced plants. As a result, the plants grow out of control and often become environmental weeds.
If the weeds take over, wildlife disappears in proportion. In our part of SE Australia we have some 50 butterflies and more than a hundred native birds, but they must have native plants to feed on or the native insects that feed on the plants.
See our before and after weeding photos.
Some of the weeds that we control are:
privet(s) & camphor laurel (introduced from China)
tradescantia (from S. America)
non-native grasses (from the Americas, Europe & Africa)
blackberry (from Europe)
Brazilian fireweed (from S. America)
lantana (from S. America)
thistles (from Europe)
If you need to identify a weed, try this useful site