Forum to better manage European wasp risk

28 Sep, 2011 10:24 AM
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STAKEHOLDERS with an interest in preventing the establishment of European wasp in Western Australia have been invited to a forum being organised by the Department of Agriculture and Food at South Perth on Friday, September 30.

Department biosecurity spokesperson Marc Widmer said the forum was part of the department’s program currently underway to strengthen measures to manage the European wasp risk to the State.

“The department has seen a marked increase in located nests over the past year, and is reviewing its control program to strengthen protection for WA,” Mr Widmer said.

“We are seeking an increased level of stakeholder engagement and support for surveillance, communication, reporting and control measures. A successful program to prevent the establishment of these wasps will benefit the whole community.”

European wasps are a declared pest in WA, presenting a potential threat to the soft fruit industry, vineyards and the honey and pollination industries.

Mr Widmer said the wasps could become a serious outdoor pest, impacting on health, lifestyle and the environment.

The forum aims to bring together stakeholders from other State departments, local government, industry and community groups to develop better options for the ongoing management of the European Wasp risk.

The forum will be held from 1.30pm to 4pm at the department’s theatrette in South Perth.

Stakeholders who would like to attend should register their interest by contacting Dr Oonagh Byrne on 9368 3600 or email oonagh.byrne@agric.wa.gov.au

European wasp nests can be found throughout the year, but typically most are located from December through to June.

“We found 70 nests in the Perth metropolitan area this year,” Mr Widmer said. “About five per cent of the 719 nests found in Western Australia since 1977 have been in rural areas from Kalbarri to Eucla, with other nests found in Albany, Capel, Donnybrook, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie.”

WA Department of Agriculture and FoodSource: http://www.agric.wa.gov.au

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