What is general surveillance and how can you contribute

Officer inspecting plants

NSW DPI devotes a lot of time and energy to protecting our environment, our industries and our lifestyle from the impact of exotic pests. We do this in ways that people may already be familiar with, such as managing pest free areas or responding to pest outbreaks, but we also work in ways that you may not have considered.  

One of the activities that NSW DPI undertakes is targeted surveillance in farms, forests and national parks, community assets and other sites at risk of infestation throughout the state. This surveillance often looks for specific exotic pests, host plants and animals.

Our surveillance serves several purposes, from early detection if something makes it past our border through to proving that our state or the country is free of certain exotic pests (“proof of area freedom”). 

This type of surveillance is essential for protecting our trade but is also critical for preventing unwanted pests from becoming established. If exotic pests are detected early, we have the best chance of controlling them before they can become established.

Unfortunately, we can’t always be in the exact location at the time that something unusual may turn up. This is where the community and industry play an important role in helping to protect our natural assets and agricultural production.

NSW DPI works in partnership with people from rural industries, community groups and environmental organisations from locations across the state to contribute to our general surveillance.

General surveillance gathers information about the presence or absence of specific pests from a number of sources. This can include information or reports from professional people like ecologists, farm consultants, pest controllers and arborists through to bee keepers, volunteers restoring habitats and community gardeners.

Report it

Anyone can submit a report to the NSW DPI Biosecurity Hotline if they think they have spotted something unusual. 

If you are a naturally curious person, familiar with your own backyard or a local environment and can recognise when something appears to be unusual, you can be involved. 

If you spot anything unusual, take a photo, note the location and contact the NSW DPI Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 680 244.


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