In his recent webinar, Dr Brett Summerell, Director of Research and Chief Botanist at the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, spoke about biosecurity in the botanic gardens of Sydney: the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Australian Botanic Garden Mt Annan, and the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mt Tomah.
“There is a total of 17,232 species across the three gardens,” said Brett.
This includes 12 species which are extinct in the wild and 614 critically endangered species.
“Each of the gardens is extraordinary unique in terms of the environment you have there,” he said.
“When you combine over 17,000 hosts with a range of different pathogens and these three unique environments you get any number of types of possible disease scenarios.”
“On top of that, you have the complications of visitations.”
In normal times, the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney attract over 5 million visitors per year, and on any given day, this includes visitors from all over the world, country and state.
This is why a critical part of disease control is raising awareness about biosecurity.
“A lot of the gardens around the country have developed this understanding of gardens hygiene to make sure people entering facilities are not bringing in disease,” Brett explained.
“Cleaning measures work really well if people use them, but they don’t work well if people don’t use them – so it’s really about making sure the awareness is high.”
Watch the full webinar below to hear more about some of the major pests and diseases that impact botanic gardens, methods to prevent their introduction and spread, and what is involved in diagnosing diseases.
This webinar was held as part of a series of webinars hosted by the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network. Watch the other webinars here.