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Wellington, New Zealand

Thomson P.S.,MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science | Year: 2010

Achieving greater integration of science and policy is essential to achieving better results in biosecurity. Science provides essential under-pinning for biosecurity policy and decision-making yet there are tensions and challenges that make the required integration difficult to achieve. These tensions arise from the complexity inherent in many of the problems that policy decisions are trying to address, the level of uncertainty often faced when making decisions in the biosecurity setting, the distribution of research funding, and the timeliness needed for policy decisions. Despite these difficulties, progress is being made to ensure that policy decisions are informed by science and deliver positive results in the management of biosecurity risks. If scientists and policy makers continue to work at understanding the challenges each face and increase their connectedness, improved results will continue to be delivered. © 2010 New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited, trading as Scion.

Sansoni R.L.,AsureQuality Ltd | Harvey N.,University of Guelph | Garner M.G.,Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer | Stevenson M.A.,Massey University | And 6 more authors.
OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique | Year: 2011

Researchers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States collaborated to validate their foot and mouth disease models - AusSpread, InterSpread Plus and the North American Animal Disease Spread Model - in an effort to build confidence in their use as decision-support tools. The final stage of this project involved using the three models to simulate a number of disease outbreak scenarios, with data from the Republic of Ireland. The scenarios included an uncontrolled epidemic, and epidemics managed by combinations of stamping out and vaccination. The predicted numbers of infected premises, the duration of each epidemic, and the size of predicted outbreak areas were compared. Relative within-model between-scenario changes resulting from different control strategies or resource constraints in different scenarios were quantified and compared. Although there were differences between the models in absolute outcomes, between-scenario comparisons within each model were similar. In all three models, early use of ring vaccination resulted in the largest drop in number of infected premises compared with the standard stamping-out regimen. This consistency implies that the assumptions made by each of the three modelling teams were appropriate, which in turn serves to increase enduser confidence in predictions made by these models.

Read G.B.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Stratford P.,MAF Biosecurity New Zealand | Ahyong S.T.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Ahyong S.T.,College St
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2011

The distinctive Mediterranean-Atlantic fanworm polychaete, Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791), is recorded from New Zealand, in both North and South Island, consequent upon its discovery first in the port area of Lyttelton in Lyttelton Harbour and later 800 km further north in the port area of Auckland in Waitemata Harbour. Morphology distinguishing the species from other sabellids is highlighted. In the initial occurrence in March 2008 one large specimen was identified from samples taken by a surveillance team off subtidal wharf structures in Lyttelton port. In July and August 2008 further large specimens were found both nearby and dispersed across the inner port area, with reproductive maturity appearing imminent in some. The New Zealand Government funded repeated search and culling by divers, directed towards possible local elimination, with over 380 specimens removed from Lyttelton by December 2009. However, in August 2009 a single large specimen was found in an enclosed port area in Waitemata Harbour, then several more, and in October 2009 numerous specimens were found on a barge hull berthed there. Also it became apparent that a second generation of colonisers was present in both harbours. By early 2010 well-grown specimens had been found in disparate Waitemata Harbour locations over a large area. The decision to suspend culls was made in February 2010, and elimination efforts were abandoned in June 2010, two years after first detection. The arrival and apparent establishment of S. spallanzanii in New Zealand is ascribed to accidental international transfer probably in 2007, either via hull fouling or ballast water, but it is not known if the two ports were colonised via the same transiting vessel. © 2011 The Author(s).

Vink C.J.,Agresearch Ltd. | Vink C.J.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | Derraik J.G.B.,MAF Biosecurity New Zealand | Derraik J.G.B.,Massey University | And 2 more authors.
Biological Invasions | Year: 2011

Populations of the Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870, were first recorded in New Zealand in the early 1980s and in Osaka, Japan in 1995. Reliable records suggest that naturalised populations of L. hasseltii in New Zealand are present only in Central Otago and New Plymouth. In Central Otago, L. hasseltii feeds on endangered invertebrates, such as Prodontria modesta (Broun 1909). Latrodectus hasseltii is also a hazard to the New Zealand endemic L. katipo through interbreeding and competitive displacement. CLIMEXTM was used to model the potential global distribution of L. hasseltii based on current climate, and using ArcGIS® 9.2, areas of suitable climate in New Zealand were overlaid with favourable habitats to identify areas most suitable for L. hasseltii establishment. In addition, shelter that urban areas offer L. hasseltii were modelled in CLIMEX and incorporated into ArcGIS to produce maps indicating cities and built up areas where the species could establish. The presence of L. hasseltii in New Zealand and Japan, and its possible spread to other areas, is of human health significance, and the species may also impact on native biodiversity. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Stringer L.D.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Suckling D.M.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Mattson L.T.W.,AsureQuality Ltd | Peacock L.R.,MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
New Zealand Plant Protection | Year: 2010

The National Invasive Ant Surveillance is conducted annually around ports and other high-risk areas to detect new ant incursions into New Zealand. Currently, non-sticky food-baited vials are used to trap ants. The ability of a sticky bait trap to trap multiple ant species at baits was tested, under the hypothesis that a sticky trap would reduce the role of competitive exclusion at food sources, a drawback of food baiting. Furthermore, the role of food type, sugar, protein and a combination of both foods, on ant catch was examined. Although only 4% of traps caught multiple species, this incidence was five times greater in the sticky-bait than food-only vials. The combined food source traps caught ants more often than the single food source traps. The refinement of ant monitoring traps will aid surveillance managers in the future.

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