News

APHA and Forestry Commission eradicate Asian longhorn beetle from the UK

07 June 2019

APHA and Forestry Commission eradicate Asian longhorn beetle from the UK
The Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB) – an insect which poses a risk to broadleaved trees such as oak and silver birch - has been eradicated in the UK following six years of trapping and surveillance work by APHA and the Forestry Commission.

The pest was initially discovered in Kent in 2012, most likely introduced through infested imported wood packaging material.

The pest is a serious threat to a range of broadleaved trees, including species grown commercially for timber and fruit production. The larvae of the beetle feed on the wood of living trees, boring galleries, or tunnels in the trunks and branches. The galleries can penetrate all the way from the outer layer to the heart wood, and a severe infestation can kill the tree.

Lord Gardiner, Defra Biosecurity Minister said: “I am delighted that we have been able to eradicate Asian Longhorn Beetle – this is a testament to the dedication and hard work carried out by our Plant Health service.

“Globalisation in trade, increased travel and the diversity of plants entering the UK mean more threats to plant health. Our strong response includes investing more than £4.5m to strengthen our border security, recruiting and enhancing training for new plant inspectors.

“Furthermore, we identify and assess new threats to our trees by using the UK Plant Health Risk Register, the most comprehensive in the world, containing over 1000 pests and diseases which are regularly reviewed and prioritised for action.”

Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer said: “Asian Longhorn Beetle would pose a serious threat to our treescape if allowed to establish, so it is great news that it has been officially eradicated in the UK.

“Strong biosecurity relies on everyone playing their part – in our forests, at borders or when buying plants. It is important that we continue to raise awareness of the simple things that people can do to protect against pests and diseases, such as sourcing plants from a reputable nursery.”

Pitcairn biosecurity and invasive species contracts - invitation to tender

07 June 2019

Pitcairn biosecurity and invasive species contracts - invitation to tender
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are pleased to announce requests for quotation/ invitations to tender for two biosecurity and invasive species contracts.

Both contracts are part of the Strengthening biosecurity for remote territory communities and their World Heritage project funded by the UK Darwin initiative.

The two contracts are for:

1. Pitcairn and Henderson Rodent Eradication Feasibility Study

Invasive species, accidently carried on vessels, pose a threat to the diversity of endemic species on the Pitcairn Islands.

The Government of the Pitcairn Islands and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are undertaking a joint project to address this problem. Part of the project will include a feasibility study to assess if rodent eradication on Pitcairn and Henderson Islands can be combined. The contract will produce a feasibility report to advise the Pitcairn Island Council on this issue.

This contract is to hire an operational expert to undertake the work. The expert will undertake a feasibility study and accompany an RSPB representative to undertake community consultation on Pitcairn.

2. Biosecurity Expert for Gateway Ports and Vessels (Auckland-Pitcairn- Mangareva)

Invasive species, accidently carried on vessels, pose a threat to the diversity of endemic species on the Pitcairn Islands.

The Government of the Pitcairn Islands and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are undertaking a joint project to address this problem. Part of the project will address pre-border security at gateway ports and on-vessel practices. It will also provide training to staff and crews, together with identifying necessary equipment and awareness raising material.

For this part of the project, we now want to commission a biosecurity expert to undertake this work along the supply route to the Pitcairn Islands and at the associated gateway ports in New Zealand and French Polynesia (Auckland and Mangareva). The purpose of this work is to reduce invasive species arrivals.

The request for quotation forms for each contract are available below:

1. Pitcairn and Henderson Rodent Eradication Feasibility Study
2. Biosecurity Expert for Gateway Ports and Vessels (Auckland-Pitcairn- Mangareva)

Applicants should complete these and return to the RSPB (Richard.hill@rspb.org.uk) by no later than 28th June 2019. If you have any questions or require an application form, please contact the RSPB at the same email address.

New approach for tackling invasive non-native species in Wales.

29 May 2019

New approach for tackling invasive non-native species in Wales.
An innovative approach to dealing with the impacts of non-native species has been launched in Wales.
Funded by the Welsh Government’s new Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being (ENRaW) grant, the Wales Resilient Ecological Network (WaREN) is devising a new collaborative framework that will help public and private bodies and community groups to work together to tackle the significant impacts of invasive non-native species (INNS).

WaREN is keen to engage with organisations, businesses and community groups with an interest in INNS. Please get in touch by contacting: walesbiodiversitypartnership@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk .
Find out more on the Wales Biodiversity Partnership website and read the press release.

IPBES announces co-chairs to lead key assessment of invasive alien species

22 May 2019

IPBES announces co-chairs to lead key assessment of invasive alien species
Bonn (IPBES News) – Three leading global experts have today been announced as the co-chairs of a new and vitally important assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), of existing knowledge regarding invasive alien species and their control.

Professors Helen Roy MBE (United Kingdom), Aníbal Pauchard (Chile) and Peter Stoett (Canada) will head a team of more than 70 expert authors, to be selected from a large pool of nominations, by the end of June this year.

Invasive alien species were identified, just weeks ago in the landmark IPBES Global Assessment Report, as one of the top five global culprits driving negative change in nature around the world – with numbers having risen by 70% since 1970 across 21 countries.

Once completed, the new three-year assessment will offer Governments and decision-makers at all levels the best available evidence on the array of invasive alien species; their impacts on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people – especially to health and livelihoods; how and why they spread; levels of public awareness; as well as the effectiveness of current control measures and options for further policy and action.

Find out more on the IPBES website.

Defra Biosecurity Minister, Lord Gardiner, helps tackle American skunk cabbage

14 May 2019

Defra Biosecurity Minister, Lord Gardiner, helps tackle American skunk cabbage
As part of Invasive Species Week 2019, yesterday Defra Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner visited Bedgebury Pinetum to see first-hand how American skunk-cabbage impacts on woodlands. He then assisted Forestry England and volunteers in digging out this invasive non-native plant.

Learn more about the visit here.


It's Invasive Species Week!

13 May 2019

It's Invasive Species Week!
Invasive Species Week 2019 has begun! We’re delighted to have Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey involved for the second year running, and very excited to see everyone’s plans come to life!

There’s already lots happening on Twitter this morning, if you're posting remember to include #InvasivesWeek in all your social media posts to maximise their impact. We have a new Twitter account this year, @InvasiveSp.

If you fancy some reading material, we have a guest blog over on the APHA Science blog later today, or have a look at the Invasive Species Week website www.nonnativespecies.org/invasivespeciesweek. If you’d like to learn something new this week, there’s free online biosecurity training with really useful advice for anyone working in the field: www.nonnativespecies.org/elearning.

New NNSS email address

03 January 2019

New NNSS email address
Happy New Year!

Our email address has changed and is now: nnss@apha.gov.uk.
Please note that we may be unable to receive emails to the previous address.




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