Snap a bug for biose­cu­rity blitz

Geraldton Guardian - - REAL ESTATE - Sab­rina Hahn

For all those bud­ding sci­en­tists out there, it’s time to get snapping, trap­ping and in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

The Biose­cu­rity Blitz is an an­nual event and runs un­til November 16.

It is an op­por­tu­nity to join in and help dis­cover as many in­ter­est­ing or dam­ag­ing pests as pos­si­ble across Western Aus­tralia over a month. Your par­tic­i­pa­tion in re­port­ing bugs, dis­eases, in­sects, weeds and aquatic pests all goes to­wards help­ing to pro­tect Western Aus­tralia’s agri-food in­dus­tries and the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment from harm­ful ex­otic pests. It’s great to get the whole fam­ily in­volved, kids love it.

The aim of the Biose­cu­rity Blitz is to col­lect as much in­for­ma­tion as we can over a short pe­riod to get a snap­shot of the pres­ence or ab­sence of pests across the State. A re­port of any or­gan­ism counts so just get out there and make re­ports.

As part of Biose­cu­rity Blitz 2018, the depart­ment is hold­ing its first-ever School Chal­lenge.

The School Chal­lenge is a great op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents to get out­side and un­der­take their own biose­cu­rity sur­veil­lance. This ac­tiv­ity-based chal­lenge en­gages with schools and par­ents and en­cour­ages stu­dents to col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers to build and ex­tend their lo­cal pest re­port­ing com­mu­nity.

To par­tic­i­pate, get out­side and

re­port pests to the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment (DPIRD) us­ing one of th­ese mo­bile apps: MyPestGuide Re­porter, PestFax Re­porter or WA PestWatch. If you don’t have a smart­phone there are on­line por­tals for each app.

The in­for­ma­tion col­lected will help all of our grow­ers limit the pos­si­bil­ity of new pests and

dis­eases af­fect­ing their crops and pro­tect their in­come and over­seas mar­kets. Early de­tec­tion may en­sure more ef­fec­tive con­trol.

It’s also a great way to learn more about the bio­di­ver­sity of what lives in your neigh­bour­hood. The feed­back gives facts about life cy­cles of in­sects, how pathogens spread and why weeds flour­ish bet­ter than gar­den plants.

Pic­ture: DPIRD

Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment of­fi­cers Laura Fagan and Ros­alie Mc­Cauley, with Agri­cul­ture and Food Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan, cen­tre, get be­hind Biose­cu­rity Blitz.

Pic: Getty Im­ages

Top up bird baths.

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