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Australia

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Spotlights

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Australian Government. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

    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 locaton, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Australia.

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.

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (Australia).

International Government

Western Australia Department of Fisheries.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Formerly the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee (IPAC).
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia).
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.
Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment.
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).

Business Queensland (Australia).

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Victoria Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Australia). Agriculture.
Northern Territory Government (Australia).
South Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regions. Biosecurity South Australia.
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.

Academic

Marine Education Society of Australasia.