Non-native invasive species threaten global biodiversity and food security resulting in substantial economic costs reported to be in excess of US$100 billion annually. Although practices are in place for the prevention and early detection of invasive species, management, usually eradication, tends to be reactive once the pest arrives and an outbreak is discovered. However, if the invasive pest establishes, long-term management is usually adopted for population suppression and slowing the rate of spread.
Identifying future risks and preparing to manage those risks are becoming increasingly important to help mitigate the impact that invasive species have on ecosystems in a new environment. Classical biological control, the introduction of a non-indigenous biological control agent (BCA), is recognised as a key strategy to manage invasive insect pest populations. However, the deliberate introduction of an exotic BCA is subject to regulatory measures which may take years before approval is granted, giving additional time for an invasive pest to establish, build up population density and spread.

This project aims to establish a biological control network to share knowledge and information on priority biosecurity threats and BCAs to increase preparedness for incursions of invasive invertebrate species. This will be achieved through:

  • Reviewing priority pests and the potential for pre-emptive biological control options
  • Establishing a network and repository for the exchange of information
  • Producing a standard to assess feasibility to conduct pre-emptive risk assessment for the introduction of BCAs