Managing invasive weeds, pests & diseases
Invasive species are the major threat to native biota (and primary industries) in New Zealand, and one of the top five drivers of global change. This Portfolio produces new or improved technologies and strategies for invasive species management to better protect biodiversity, and help meet community expectations (humane, environmentally-friendly and safe tools) and market demands for green products and tourism.
Research will increase both understanding of species interactions and invasive species ecology, and the cost-effectiveness of control at local and landscape scales. This will enhance our ability to predict biodiversity impacts, prevent incursions of unwanted species, and suppress or eradicate invasive species over large areas of New Zealand through improved targeting and efficacy of weed, pest and disease management.
Of interest to Māori is our work with Tūhoe to develop strategies for managing possums for biodiversity goals while at the same time providing economic livelihood from fur and skin trapping; and our work with Kaupapa Kererū, a Ngāi Tahu-led conservation initiative on Banks Peninsula, providing research advice as needed. We also actively develop Māori capacity through postgraduate student supervision.
Key research partners include the Invasive Mammals Cooperative Research Centre (pest animals); AgResearch (weeds, including prioritisation, population modelling, herbicide use and optimising biodiversity benefits from weed management); Lincoln University (invasive mammal impacts); and the University of Auckland (invasive mammal impacts and the Joint Graduate School for Biodiversity and Biosecurity).
Research priority areas:
- Beating weeds
- Strategic pest control
- Invasive mammal impacts
- Prevent & manage diseases
- Invasive Species International (ISI)
- Pest control technologies
- Applied biocontrol solutions