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Oceania

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Spotlights

University of Guam.

The University of Guam received another round of funding in September under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Protection Act for the surveying and monitoring of invasive pests of solanaceous crops that are on USDA’s Priority Pest List for 2021. Solanaceae, or nightshades, are a family of flowering plants that include tomato, eggplant, and chili pepper. As part of the national effort this year, UOG was awarded $38,000 to survey and monitor for two pests: Tuta absoluta, which is a moth and type of leafminer capable of destroying an entire crop, and Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2, which is a bacterium, known as a bacterial wilt, that infects through the roots and is deadly to plants.

The work through UOG better prepares the island to manage these invasive species if or when they arrive. "There are certain pathogens and insects that have a reputation of being really bad. These are two of them," said project lead Robert L. Schlub, a researcher and faculty member of UOG Cooperative Extension and Outreach with a doctorate in plant pathology. "They aren’t on Guam, but if they show up, we want to know so we can help get them under control."

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The exotic plant pest fall armyworm has been detected for the first time in Australia, in a network of surveillance traps on the northern Torres Strait islands of Saibai and Erub. Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Lyn O'Connell, said the caterpillar stage of the fall armyworm, also known as Spodoptera frugiperda, damages many crops across Africa and Asia vital to human food security, such as rice, maize and sorghum. "Everyone can do their part to protect Australia from biosecurity risks like fall armyworm by being aware of what can and cannot be brought to Australia from overseas or from the Torres Strait region and reporting any unexpected pests, plant matter or soil."

Adult moths of fall armyworm were detected in surveillance traps monitored by the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy. These traps were set up as part of preparedness activities for early detection as fall armyworm is a strong flyer and has been spreading rapidly through Southeast Asia countries in recent months. For more information, see Fall Armyworm and Other Exotic Armyworms from the Australian Department of Agriculture.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Four new publications have been added to the 'Pacific Invasive Battler Series,' and are now available for free download from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), to help Pacific practitioners, environmental managers, government and community members in specific areas of invasive species management.

Developed through the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Service (PRISMSS), the Battler Series is an important resource for those working to restore ecosystems and manage invasive species. It provides tested best practice approaches through step by step guidance, case studies and visual aid for those battling invasive species. The series provides information and case-studies that can assist those working in the field and is written in a user-friendly way. There are now 15 publications in the Pacific Invasive Battler Series, and they are available for download on the Battler Resource Base.

DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.

U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced $942,206 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative grants to eradicate and control the spread of invasive species in the U.S. territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), as well as in the Republic of Palau, and Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Funding will be used to introduce biological control of coconut rhinoceros beetles, control and eradicate feral cats and monitor lizards, and destroy wild vines, all of which are disruptive to ecological systems and impacting communities and livelihoods in the islands.

DOI. United States Geological Survey.

For the first time, an invasive brown treesnake population has been found on Cocos Island, an 83.1 acre atoll located 1.5 miles off the southwest coast of Guam. The brown treesnake was a major contributor to the loss of nine of 11 native forest birds and significant population declines of several native lizards, bats and other bird species on Guam. They now pose a threat to the wildlife of Cocos Island. Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources is working with partners to better understand how many brown treesnakes are on the island and the best way to remove them.

Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research (New Zealand).

A new project, "Managing Invasive Species for Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific", is underway to allow Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) to take stronger action against invasive species and thereby build resilience to climate change. Invasive species make ecosystems and communities more vulnerable to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. They increase erosion, reduce food and fish production, and pose critical threats to ecosystem services and human health. Invasive species will become more widespread as disturbances, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and temperatures all increase under climate change.

New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. Biosecurity New Zealand; National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

New Zealand is the first country to implement nationwide regulations to manage risks associated with biofouling on international vessels. The development of this regulation and its implementation can serve as a blue-print for other jurisdictions that are interested in preventing the spread on non-indigenous marine species.

Australian Invasive Species Council.

A new report has identified an international 'bug superhighway' capable of carrying a large variety of environmentally destructive overseas insects into Australia. The study, led by Monash University, rated the environmental harm being caused by 100 of the worst overseas insect species and recommends a string of actions to keep them out of Australia. The most dominant group of invasive insects by far are the hymenopteran insects – ants, bees and wasps – making them the world's most environmentally harmful invasive insect species.

"Our report found that environmentally harmful bugs, beetles, ants and moths are most likely to hitch a ride into Australia along an international bug superhighway made up of imported plants, nursery material and the timber trade," said report author Professor Melodie McGeoch from Monash University. The report identifies the international trade in cut flowers and foliage as a high-risk pathway for more than 70 of the species studied. Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said this is the first time Australian and international scientists have comprehensively analysed which invasive insects overseas are doing the most environmental harm and could therefore threaten Australia's natural environment if they breach the nation's borders.

University of Western Australia.

New research from The University of Western Australia has shed light on why some invasive plants make a better comeback after a fire, outstripping native species in the race for resources.

National Environmental Science Programme (Australia). Threatened Species Recovery Hub.

New research by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub has shown that invasive or pest species are a problem for 1,257 threatened species in Australia, or about four out of five species. The research which has been published in the scientific journal Pacific Conservation Biology also identified the top ten invasive species based on how many threatened species they impact. Lead researcher Stephen Kearney from the University of Queensland said many people may be surprised at which species top the list. “Rabbits, a plant root disease and feral pigs are the top three pest species impacting Australia’s threatened species,” Mr Kearney said.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. Pacific Invasives Learning Network.
This resource is to assist Pacific island invasive species practitioners in their battle against invasive species. It includes the Pacific Invasive Species Battler Series on common Pacific topical issues and an option to see what new resources have been added lately. You can also search for documents, case-studies, reports and other media by selecting the appropriate "Guidelines" theme or objective, or use the general search function by selecting tags related to the resources.

New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. Biosecurity New Zealand.

We need your help to keep watch for the brown marmorated stink bug. The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an agricultural, horticultural, and social pest. It's native to Asia and has spread throughout North America and Europe. It isn’t established in New Zealand, but this sneaky pest hitchhikes on passengers and imported goods. We’ve caught them at our border many times. We need everyone’s help to keep an eye out for them.

If you think you’ve found a brown marmorated stink bug – don't kill it.

  • Catch it.
  • Take a photo
  • Call us immediately on 0800 80 99 66.

New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Predator Free 2050 is an ambitious goal to rid New Zealand of the most damaging introduced predators that threaten our nation’s natural taonga, our economy and primary sector. Join us in eradicating New Zealand's most damaging introduced predators: rats, stoats and possums. Going predator free will bring us a huge range of environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits. Predator Free 2050 aims at milestone goals in every four year period. Find out how far we've come since 2016.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Australia is lucky to be free from many of the world’s most damaging plant pests. Exotic plant pests are capable of damaging our natural environment, destroying our food production and agriculture industries, and some could change our way of life. Australia’s biosecurity system helps protect us from exotic plant pests. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment manages this system with state and territory ​governments, industry and the community. The Plant Health Committee has recently reviewed the National Priority Plant Pests that are exotic to Australia, under eradication or have limited distribution. These are the focus of government investment and action, including funding through the Priority Pest and Disease Planning and Response. While by no means the only plant pests of biosecurity concern, the National Priority Plant Pests serve to highlight the sort of threats Australia faces. View the National Priority Plant Pests (2019).

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Oceania

Council or Task Force
Australian Invasive Species Council.
Partnership
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health; Invasive.org.
Produced by: Rod Randall, Western Australia Department of Agriculture
Note: Webarchive for Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Team
Australian Plant Biosecurity Science Foundation.
The Australian Plant Biosecurity Science Foundation was established to follow the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) which finished operations in June 2018, supported with unspent funds from PBCRC.

Invasive Animals Limited (Australia).

The Centre for Invasive Species Solution is a national collaborative research, development and extension organisation, formed to tackle the ongoing threat from invasive species. Initially focusing on vertebrate pest threats.
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Convention on Biological Diversity. Clearing-House Mechanism; Palau Office of Environmental Response and Coordination.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. Biosecurity New Zealand; National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Pacific Biosecurity; Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme; Pacific Community.

USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (Australia).

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; University of California - Davis.

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions; Atlas of Living Australia; Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

This collection houses Australia's most accurate and detailed listing of weeds within Australia and provides descriptions of their status in each Australian jurisdiction, as well as information about their physical and biological characteristics, diagnostic features, impacts, management strategies and methods, distribution and links to key resource and documents.

International Government

Victoria Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Australia). Agriculture.

Western Australia Department of Fisheries.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.

See also: Major pest and disease threats for some of the major threats, pests and diseases facing New Zealand's primary sector.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council (New Zealand).

Auckland Council (New Zealand).

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Formerly the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC).

UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia).
Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment.
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.
Australian Government. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Outbreak reports on pests and diseases that are exotic to Australia, and are under official national eradication programs. Also provides information about a pest or disease that is no longer under an official eradication program if there is important information that the community still needs to be aware of.
See also: Pests and Diseases Image Library (PaDIL)
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).
Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
Environment Canterbury Regional Council (New Zealand).
Greater Wellington Regional Council (New Zealand).
Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Business Queensland (Australia).

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Waikato Regional Council (New Zealand). Environment Waikato.

Northland Regional Council (New Zealand).

Northern Territory Government (Australia).
Academic
Marine Education Society of Australasia.

University of New Zealand. Massey University.

Professional

Food and Fertilizer Technology Center.

New Zealand Plant Conservation Network.