New Agent Approvals
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved an application to release the lantana leaf rust (Prospodium tuberculatum) and the lantana blister rust (Puccinia lantanae) in New Zealand.
Northland Regional Council was the applicant on behalf of the National Biocontrol Collective (NBC). Plans are now being made to import these rusts as soon as the new pathogen containment facility is completed at our Auckland site, and to get releases underway as soon as possible. These will be the first and likely only biocontrol agents to be released against lantana (Lantana camara) in New Zealand.
The EPA is currently considering an application put forward by Environment Southland on behalf of the NBC to release the first two biocontrol agents for Darwin’s barberry (Berberis darwinii). They are a flower-feeding weevil (Anthonomus kuscheli) and a seed-feeding weevil (Berberidicola exeratus). They will also shortly be considering an application put forward by Auckland Council on behalf of the NBC to release a fourth agent for tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis), a yellow leaf spot fungus (Kordyana sp.).
Note that we have created a new section on our website relating to agent approvals (see: Approvals). The aim of this section is to make key information more readily accessible to those with an interest in new-agent applications. Background to, and the rationale for, current applications is provided, along with key references and reports, details about consultation, and answers to frequently asked questions. We hope you find this useful!