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Further Reduction To PAM Eradication Zone

Further Reduction To Painted Apple Moth Eradication Zone

MAF has reduced the painted apple moth eradication zone by approximately 900 hectares. The new reduced eradication zone will cover some 8,100 hectares.

This latest reduction coupled with the initial reduction last month, means a total of 1,500 hectares has been carved off the aerial eradication zone.

The latest reduction is a result of data indicating the painted apple moth population is declining across the eradication zone. The reductions have occurred in areas where monitored traps have been repeatedly found empty and data reveals little risk of infestation from surrounding areas.

A section through the centre of the existing eradication zone will not be included in the next general aerial operation planned for Monday 31 March (weather permitting) or future operations.

The aircraft will largely follow a similar flight path as previous aerial eradication operations. This means the aircraft will fly over the corridor of land that has been removed from the zone but the spray nozzles will be turned off during the fly-over. It is possible that properties near the eradication zone boundaries may experience spray drift. The continuation of the existing flight plan results from the need to ensure optimum flight safety.

“The aerial operations, host tree removals and sterile moth programme are having a huge impact on the painted apple moth population ” says Ian Gear, project director. “The 24 male moths we caught in our monitoring traps this February is just a small percentage of the 2,300 we caught in February last year. The objective now, is to get rid of every remaining breeding female moth who could kick start the population.”

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