Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Kiwi science at work on Aussie pest problems

Kiwi science at work on Aussie pest problems


New Zealand science that assists Australian farmers predict mouse outbreaks could soon be applied on this side of the Tasman.

MouseAlert (www.mousealert.org.au) is a new interactive website based on Google-type mapping technology allowing arable crop growers to record and view mouse activity in their local area in real time. It helps inform the community about changes in mouse numbers or damage, and when to implement control, sooner rather than later, before an outbreak causes severe damage to crops.

Landcare Research is providing expertise on building information from farmers into computer models that forecast outbreaks of mice, as part of a partnership with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA-CRC) in Australia.

Researcher Roger Pech said the same technology could soon be applied to pest species in New Zealand including wasps, predators, pest birds, and possums.

“This sort of ‘citizen surveillance’ is a major component of what we proposed as part of the Bio-Heritage National Science Challenge. It’s very simple but incredibly useful.

“Not only does it get the public involved in science in a meaningful and enjoyable way, it builds up public awareness of biodiversity and pest species and then makes that same information available to researchers,” he says.

“Scientists can’t measure outbreaks of rodents or other pest species everywhere because the problem is too big and expensive so we’re looking to gather this information in a different way.

‘Citizen science’ and ‘citizen surveillance’ is being used more and more around the world.”

MouseAlert can be used with cell phones and other mobile devices in the field, and a community facility will enable farmers to create online groups and share observations of mouse activity among members. The next stage will be development of a notification system so members of a group can be alerted to changes in mouse activity in their local area as soon as it happens, enabling a
coordinated local response.

“MouseAlert combines some basic tools but we’ve never done this sort of thing across such large areas before,” Dr Pech says.

“Now we have all this information – people on the ground with their mobile phones or tablets, maps of soil and crop types, and information on temperature and rainfall. It means we can extend forecasts of pest outbreaks more widely which is exactly what farmers and land managers need.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news