Weed Biocontrol Issue 74
In this issue
Ragwort Biocontrol Pays Off
Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) spread to reach its full potential range in New Zealand back in the 1920s, infesting vast areas of pastoral land. Especially toxic to horses and cattle, this poisonous weed was a particular problem for dairy farms around New Zealand, and was one of the first biocontrol projects in New Zealand.
Heather Beetle set for Even Greater Things
In 2014, Paul Peterson (Landcare Research) and Paul Barrett (Massey University) went to Scotland to collect some larger, more ‘rugged’ heather beetles (Lochmaea suturalis) to supplement the existing population, which has struggled to cope with the conditions in some parts of Tongariro National Park.
Tutsan Agents Imminent
One of the challenges with finding suitable biocontrol agents for tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum) has been the level of host specificity required. There are 19 Hypericum species in New Zealand including another invasive weed, St John’s wort (H. perforatum). Four of these species are native to New Zealand and we need to be sure that any insects that we introduce will not harm them.
Meet the National Biocontrol Collective
In this piece we reflect on what the National Biocontrol Collective has achieved, some of the key reasons for its success, and current and future challenges.
Summer is a busy time in the world of biocontrol. Some activities you may need to schedule are listed.