The community has got on board and contributed to another successful Biosecurity Blitz, with more than 1600 reports submitted during the event from 19 October to 16 November.
Biosecurity Blitz is the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s annual event that aims to enlist people to monitor for pests that could threaten Western Australia’s valuable agriculture and fisheries industries.
While the majority of reports were from WA, all other states and territories participated, with almost 300 reports coming in from Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales combined.
Of these reports, the most common were beetles (Coleoptera – 249 records), bugs (Hemiptera – 253 records) and butterflies/moths (Lepidoptera – 168 records).
Pestfax, the department’s interactive service with a focus on broadacre pests and diseases, had 60 reports, with the top reports focused on lupins (20 reports) and canola (17 reports).
The State’s aquatic reporters were also busy, with WA PestWatch recording 17 reports of species such as goldfish/koi, mosquito fish, cichlids and sailfin mollys.
Department development officer Laura Fagan said the positive response showed that the community recognised the importance of having robust biosecurity systems in place to support the State’s primary industries.
“Although we didn’t receive any reports of exotic pests during the Biosecurity Blitz, concerted community efforts such as this give evidence of absence, which is just as important,” Ms Fagan said.
“Our international trade depends on Western Australia being free of destructive pests that inhabit other parts of the world, so reports of damaging pests were dealt with quickly by the department staff working alongside the individual reporter.
“As long as we’re gathering data that supports area freedom, we’ll continue to enjoy access to important global markets.
“Ongoing reporting also enables us to respond promptly to any pest detections that are capable of having significant negative impacts on not only industry, but also our way of life.”
While Biosecurity Blitz has finished for another year, the community is encouraged to continuing making reports of any interesting or exotic bugs they see.
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937