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Weeds head for the hills as climate warms – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 11th, 2017.

As temperatures rise, plants head up mountainsides, with weeds spreading to higher altitudes twice as fast as their native counterparts, a new study has found. Published today in Nature Climate Change, the study examined more than 130,000 records of 1334 plant species collected over 20 years in a single range of the European Alps.  The […]

Oyster disease Bonamia ostreae – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on June 13th, 2017.

Following the discovery of the parasite Bonamia ostreae in Stewart Island oyster farms, the Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a restriction on the area and plans to remove the affected oysters. Niwa put together a Q&A with fisheries scientist Keith Michael about the parasite and the risk of it spreading further afield. What is Bonamia […]

Bluff oysters threatened by parasite – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on June 9th, 2017.

There are concerns the iconic Bluff oyster could be decimated by a parasite discovered on Stewart Island. Bonamia ostreae has been detected at two Stewart Island oyster farms, and the Ministry for Primary Industries has put restrictions on the area to limit further spread. The Ministry has been meeting with industry members in Southland and is […]

Myrtle rust discovered on Raoul Island – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 4th, 2017.

DOC staff on the Kermadecs’ Raoul Island have confirmed the discovery of the fungal plant disease myrtle rust on pōhutukawa trees. If it entered mainland New Zealand, the fungus could affect iconic species such as pōhutukawa, kānuka, mānuka and rātā. In a statement, MPI’s Director Readiness and Response, Geoff Gwyn, said myrtle rust spores can carry long […]

Unstable countries a biosecurity threat – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on June 15th, 2016.

New Zealand could dramatically reduce outbreaks of invasive species if it selectively chose its international trade partners, suggests new research. Reviewing almost 50,000 exotic species border interceptions from the last 10 years, Victoria University researchers have identified the types of countries most likely to be a source of imported exotic invaders. Read more about the […]

Fruit fly incursion – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on February 24th, 2015.

Containment at early stages is critical, say experts commenting on the detection of Queensland fruit flies in Auckland. The flies, which pose a threat to export fruit and vegetable markets, were first detected in a surveillance trap last week. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has put in place a restriction zone, limiting the movement […]

Fruit fly find prompts Auckland lockdown

John Kerr posted in on February 19th, 2015.

The discovery of solitary male Queensland fruit fly in the Grey Lynn area of Auckland has biosecurity authorities on high alert and prompted a lockdown on the movement of fruit and vegetables in the area. The fly was found in a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) surveillance trap on Monday night and 1.5 kilometer control […]

Fast-growing pasture: feed or weed? Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on November 4th, 2014.

Farmers who use plant varieties that become invasive weeds should pay a levy to cover any environmental management costs, say the authors of a new study. As breeding technologies produce faster-growing, more hardy pasture plants, the potential impact of wild-growing pasture in the wider environment grows, warn the authors of a new article published in […]

Pests costing economy and environment – RSNZ paper

John Kerr posted in on March 28th, 2014.

Weeds, wasps, rats and sea squirts are among a swarm of pests and diseases that represent a growing threat to New Zealand’s economy and environment, according to a new report released this week by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Challenges for pest management in New Zealand is authored by a panel led by Royal […]

Biosecurity forum looks hard at NZ border

John Kerr posted in on July 12th, 2013.

Biosecurity in New Zealand- have we gone soft at the border? was the title of a conference which has raised more than few critical questions about New Zealand’s border security. Held this week by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science (NZIAHS), the forum brought together researchers and policy makers to discuss New […]

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