Every year in Australia, pest animals are estimated to cost approximately $1 billion, and the management of weeds is estimated to be four times higher, at $4 billion annually.
Over the past decade, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) has fostered collaboration and innovation among industry, government and research partners in an effort to tackle Australia’s pest animal challenges, which have devastating effects on agricultural productivity.
Since 2005, the IA CRC has worked to provide land managers with better ways of monitoring pest animals on their land and to enhance their education and knowledge on best-practice pest animal management. Through its collaborative research program, the IA CRC was also responsible for boosting biocontrol in the management of the European rabbit and has developed a biocontrol option for the management of European carp.
As of 30 June 2017, the IA CRC ceased to exist and, with the support of $20 million of Australian government funding, a new Centre for Invasive Species Solutions began on 1 July 2017 in its place.
The new research centre will build on the success of the IA CRC’s work in providing solutions to some of Australia’s most challenging and complex national pest animal and weed problems, and continue to maintain strong collaborations between the Australian and state and territory governments, industry and research agencies.
With its headquarters based in Canberra, the centre will initially have five main research programs that will focus on developing a national system to protect Australia from existing and new pest animals. It will also focus on developing new biocontrol strategies to reduce the effects of established pest animals and look to develop new tools and systems that can be utilised to address pest animal management in a cost-effective way.
For more information about projects and the centre’s current progress visit www.invasives.com.au.
This article appeared in the July 2017 issue of the Australian Veterinary Journal