A native of southern Asia and east Africa, Buffel Grass (Cenchrus cillaris) was introduced to Australia as an improved pasture. Buffel Grass is considered to be an excellent fodder species and is widely used as a pasture plant.
Generally, well-managed pastures do not cause toxicity problems for sheep and cattle, though lush plants may cause oxalate poisoning if grazed by hungry sheep. Horses may be affected by a condition known as 'bighead', caused by an induced calcium deficiency.
However, the fact that Buffel Grass displaced native grass is a major concern, particularly in the arid inland of Australia. It forms dense swards in moist habitats such as along river banks or in alluvial pans. It also alters fire regimes.
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