New push on invasive pest animals
International collaborators including the US Department of Agriculture have joined forces with the new Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) in ramping up Australia’s research effort into pest animal management.
NSW Department of Primary Industries is a core partner in the CRC and will lead research in key areas, including product development and strategy relating to terrestrial pests.
The CRC has 31 Australian partners plus two each from New Zealand, Britain and the USA.
It is based at the University of Canberra and started operation on July 31 this year.
DPI vertebrate pest research leader, Dr Glen Saunders, says the IA CRC represents “the biggest effort ever” to build an R&D portfolio designed to make a real impact on invasive animal management.
“By combining national and international skills in science, management, commerce and industry, this unique partnership will deliver the means to combat existing high profile invasive animal pests such as rabbits, foxes, mice and European carp.
“The IA CRC will also target research into those pests that have the potential to cause catastrophic impacts in the future.
“These include cane toads, which are now starting to spread in NSW, as well as some bird pests.
“Starlings, for instance, are invading new areas of Western Australia. In North America, starlings cause millions and millions of dollars damage each year.”
International collaborators in the CRC include the US Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Centre, University of York (UK), Central Science Laboratory (UK) and New Zealand Department of Conservation and Landcare Research.
NSW DPI is to lead the NSW node (or branch) of the CRC, which will have its headquarters at the Orange Agricultural Institute.
The NSW node is to be officially launched by the NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald in Orange on November 11.
A key partner and end user of CRC R&D in NSW will be Rural Lands Protection Boards.
This story appears Agriculture Today.