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Viral video shows the shocking technique used to clear poison ivy from hiking trails: '[This is] really innovative'

"It's amazing how well an area can be maintained."

Army of goats" are helping get rid of poison ivy

Photo Credit: iStock

An Instagram Reel shows how goats are helping get rid of poison ivy along a popular forested trail.  

The video was posted on the page Kut Austin (@kut_austin), which is "a community-supported public media newsroom sharing news and information on-air at 90.5 FM and online at KUT.org." 

"An army of goats is clearing poison ivy from the trails around Austin's Lady Bird Lake," the caption on the opening scene reads.   

The video shows an array of goats inside a forest, eating away at bushes and plants which are described in the captions as poison ivy and invasive plants. 

This can apparently be an effective way of getting rid of poisonous and invasive plants, which can have adverse effects on ecosystems, like reducing biodiversity. 

Herbicides are commonly used to deal with invasive and poisonous plant species, but these bring about their own problems and can be even worse for the environment than the invasive species.

There are also other natural, non-toxic ways to get rid of unwanted plants, either for your garden or for an entire forest. Among these methods are bringing in other plant species to combat the unwanted ones or simply pulling them out manually by the roots.

Bringing in animals to eat them is among the most efficient ways of taking care of the problem since they end up doing most of the work and benefit from it as well, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship.

The Trail Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that maintains the forested trail, came up with the idea of bringing in animals to take care of the problem. 

"It's a really innovative and creative alternative to some of the other tactics we could use to eradicate poison ivy, like controlled burns, which affect air quality, or chemicals, which affect water quality in the lake," The Trail Conservancy's CEO Heidi Anderson said.

Viewers of the Reel also had plenty to say.

"Through careful rotational grazing with multiple animals, it's amazing how well an area can be maintained," one person wrote in the comments. 

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