Somewhere out in the world, there are two new pest incursions a day, according to new research showing that efforts to prevent pests, weeds and diseases have not kept up with the pace of globalisation.
An international team of scientists, whose findings were published overnight in Nature Communications, found that the number of invasive species worldwide has been increasing over the last 200 years with no sign of slowing down. Increases were associated with human activities, particularly the expansion of agriculture, horticulture and global trade.
New Zealand co-author Philip Hulme, from Lincoln University’s Bio-Protection Centre, said the new study emphasised the need to keep biosecurity at the top of the business and tourism agenda.
“As a country with a unique flora and fauna as well as strong economic dependence of agriculture, it is vital for New Zealand to have stringent and robust biosecurity policies.”
“I’m not sure this message gets through enough to our millions of tourists, the airlines, or importers,” he said.
The study has been covered by local media, including: