Technology and collaboration helping improve eucalypt plantation pest surveillance in Western Australia

Francisco Tovar *1, Nicholas Garel 2, Treena Burgess 1

1 Murdoch University, Industry Pest Management Group, CRC for Forestry
2 Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, CRC for Biosecurity

The majority of Eucalyptus globulus plantations in Western Australia are managed by the private sector. Currently, most companies have no formalised pest and disease surveillance programs for their plantation estates. When pest or disease problems are encountered, there is no coordinated operational approach amongst the companies. This often leads to poor pest management outcomes. The poster will present how an industry formed collaborative group, the Industry Pest Management Group (IPMG), is addressing the shortfalls in forest pest surveillance and management. A  program encouraging increased collaboration amongst stakeholder companies and the implementation of "new" technologies has been devised that includes; (1) development of plantation health recording software for mobile devices, (2) development of a regional database of pest and disease records and control actions, (3) development of a website to  access industry specific pest and disease information, (4) a regional surveillance program conducted collaboratively amongst all the stake holders. It is hoped that this approach to plantation forest surveillance will allow companies to better devise strategies such as, integrated pest management (IPM) or area wide management (AWM), in a coordinated and regional fashion rather than acting in isolation.

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