Consultation on EPA applications to introduce biological control agents against

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    Topic
  • #40073

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Over the next six months three regional councils intend to apply to the Environmental Protection Authority to introduce biological control agents for weeds. The control agents are the privet lace bug, Leptophya hospita (Tingidae), the Japanese honeysuckle stem borer, Oberea shirahatai (Cerambycidae) and the moth plant rust Puccinia araujiae (Pucciniaceae). The applicants will be Waikato, Hawke’s Bay and Northland Regional Councils respectively.

    I have been asked by the applicants to consult with the public to gather views on these proposals. Please let me know what issues these proposals might raise for the Society. We want to record and address any issues as the applications are written. More information on each of the proposals can be found at

    http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/science/plants-animals-fungi/plants/weeds/biocontrol/approvals/current-applications/

    If you would like to respond, or to discuss this further, please contact me at hillr@landcareresearch.co.nz or call me on 021 1376 919. I would appreciate hearing from you by September 19. The application will be available for public submission next year if the Society wants to comment further.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #40131

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    I agree with Carols, the rust may well transfer to other milkweeds. The biological control system has backfired and spread to other species on previous occasions, and it would be a sad day for the monarchs if their host plants were subjected to this disease.

    #40086

    clinton9
    Participant

    I hope Mr Hill would import White Admiral butterly caterpillars and Southern Monarch butterfly caterpillars to NZ to control Japanese honeysuckle and moth plants. Caterpillars are better control agents as they are greedy in laste instars.

    #40083

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    When I pasted this originally I should have made it clear that I was cutting and pasting from an email from Richard Hill at Landcare.

    The trustees will be discussing this and I am sure will be in touch with Richard Hill concerning this proposal. Would appreciate more comments and discussion from other members.

    #40081

    Errol
    Participant

    A good point Carol, but they do say the rust should not attack swan plants. Still I guess it’s better to err on the side of caution and Landcare should wait until more tests have been done, before introducing the rust.

    #40080

    carols
    Moderator

    As I discovered last summer, moth plant is a very useful food source for monarch caterpillars when there is insufficient swan plant available.

    Which makes me wonder if the rust that they are wanting to introduce might not also affect swan plants, as both plants are a type of milkweed.

    Here is an excerpt from the Landcare Research application
    “. . . Several ornamental species are related to moth plants, notably tweedia (Oxypetalum caeruleum) and swan plant (Gomphocarpus fruticosus, G. physocarpus and Asclepias curassavica). These plants are particularly valued by those fostering butterflies such as Monarchs. Tests indicate that the rust should not attack the two species of swan plant tested (G. fruticosus and A. curassavica). It was not possible to test tweedia so this plant could be at risk from incidental infection by this rust. Tweedia also proved marginally acceptable to the first control agent considered . . .”

    I therefore think the MBNZT should vigorously oppose the introduction of this rust.

    #40078

    Errol
    Participant

    I have no experience of three of those plants, but as for the privet and the moth plant – the sooner we get rid of them the better.

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