Have you considered that surveillance activities may be occurring in a botanic garden or arboreta near you?
In addition to this network, a project has been established with staff of botanic gardens and arboreta to conduct coordinated surveillance across gardens to detect pests on susceptible species as early as possible. Staff of botanic gardens in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory are involved.
Five target pests have been chosen to be the focus of this surveillance project. They have been selected based on whether they caused observable symptoms, fitted in with existing national and botanic garden surveillance programs and activities, and are considered a priority. The five pests are:
- Brown marmorated stink bug
- Myrtle rust
- Polyphagous shot hole borer
- Rose rosette virus
- Stigmina leaf spot
Once a month over spring and summer staff at participating gardens will look for the each of five pests on 5-25 potential host plants. They will report that the pest was not found (absence data) and/or any suspected discoveries of the pests. If they find a pest they haven’t seen before, but which is outside of the surveillance project, they will report that through the Emergency Plant Pest Hotline. Absence data plays an important role in showing that Australia is free of certain pests which can help with trade negotiations for our agricultural products.
It is anticipated that this surveillance project will continue to provide input to and collaborate with the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network as the two projects have closely aligned goals and objectives, and there is a great opportunity for staff to provide formal and informal training to Friends and guides involved with the Biosecurity Network.