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Gum Leaf Skeletoniser 2003

From Biosecurity issue 44, June 2003.

On the week of 12 May 2003 all pheromone traps were removed from the field. Sixty five moths have been caught – five of these outside the known infested area. As a follow up, host trees in the immediate vicinity of the traps are being inspected and ground spraying will be carried out if larvae are detected. This is to allow for containment of the infestation until decisions on future response are made.

A Technical Advisory Group met on 20 May 2003 to determine the next stage in the gum leaf skeletoniser response. The outcomes of this meeting will be reported in the next issue of Biosecurity.

Peter Thomson,
Director MAF Forest Biosecurity

From Biosecurity issue 43, May 2003.

Since launching a heightened response to gum leaf skeletoniser in southern Auckland three months ago, MAF has made significant progress towards establishing an “area of containment”. A decision on whether eradication is feasible is still some months away.

To be on the safe side, a delimiting survey was carried out to a range of 100km and no further infested sites were found outside of the affected area of approximately 11,000 hectares. The last new site within the affected area was reported on 7 March. A large-scale trapping programme using a synthetic pheromone got underway in April. The setting of between 1200 and 2000 traps has coincided with the peak emergence of adults and results will be published in Biosecurity 44 on 15 June.

AgriQuality is the main contractor and has established an interim operational headquarters at its Lynfield base. Requirements for host removal and vegetation movement controls will be coordinated from this base.

A consultative meeting of major affected landowners and science experts was held in Auckland on 7 March.

A follow-up meeting was held with local authority staff from Manukau City Council, Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Council,Waitakere City Council and Franklin District Council to agree on ways to ensure a constant flow of information about MAF biosecurity activity in Auckland. Biosecurity managers at all local authorities in the Auckland region have been sent a Participation Survey by MAF to build on the positive support MAF has received for its biosecurity incursion responses.

Peter Thomson,
Director MAF Forest Biosecurity



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