Pushing genetic and digital innovation to better detect and manage invasive species

Pushing genetic and digital innovation to better detect and manage invasive species

The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions is accelerating research and innovation to progress national registration of Eradicat – an effective feral cat toxic bait, develop new biocontrol and genetic technologies for pest fish, develop improved thermal and acoustic technology to detect pests, as well as foster uptake of best practice feral/wild deer management through a new national feral/wild deer management coordinator.

The $2.75 million invested in these second phase projects by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment is part of its $20 million commitment to the Centre. Through a strategic partnership between the Australian Government, all States, the ACT, two RDCs, CSIRO, five universities and the NZ Government, this investment has been matched through $2.99 million in-kind financial support.

CEO of the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions Andreas Glanznig said together, pest animals and weeds cost Australian farmers more than $5.5 billion per year in lost productivity and management costs and have a major impact on hundreds of nationally listed threatened species.

Image credit: Peter Tremain

“It is imperative that we continue to develop new tools and technologies to tackle these national problems,” Mr Glanznig said.

“This investment will see Australia strengthen our biosecurity system and accelerate hi tech innovation to ensure new and emerging pest threats are kept out.

“CISS is bringing together the brightest minds from universities, government agencies and commercial companies across Australia to ensure we will get new tools on ground quicker and more effectively, which will mean less impact of invasive species on farmers back pockets.

“Two new projects delivered by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development are dedicated to improving pest animal detection techniques using acoustic detection & automated thermal imagery methods.

Image credit: Joe Scanlan

“Two new projects led by the CSIRO and South Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regions respectively will establish new tools and technologies to combat pest animal problems – including national registration of a feral cat toxin, Eradicat, and research to evaluate the feasibility of tilapia biocontrol agents. These projects will build on and accelerate the work of the previously funded biocontrol and genetic technology projects.

“A new national feral/wild deer management coordinator role will also be appointed to facilitate coordinated and best practice deer management within Australia, which is an important addition to pest animal coordination in Australia,” Mr Glanznig said.

Through this investment the Centre is also boosting weeds RD&E collaborations within Australia to ensure we develop new solutions and resources to reduce lost productivity to farmers back pockets.

“A new project led by the University of Adelaide is exploring innovative ways to monitor e-commerce and other online platforms for illegal trade of invasive declared plants, ensuring our next weed problem is not purchased online,” Mr Glanznig said.

Image credit: Karl Lengerer

This investment ensures our national research collaboration stays on track to deliver new genetic surveillance techniques, biocontrol agents and improved digital technologies to empower cooperative community led pest animal management.

Find out more about our full suite of innovation projects at invasives.com.au

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Featured Image credit: Andrew Cooke