Branch News Auckland/Northland

A branch meeting was held at the Unitec Mt Albert campus, Carrington Road, Auckland on Thursday, March 12.
A branch meeting was held at the Unitec Mt Albert campus, Carrington Road, Auckland on Thursday, March 12.

After the formalities were over we had four very informative talks. Professor Charles Eason and Lyn Nicholls gave a presentation on what’s new from Connovation products and research development. The talk focused on vertebrate pest control. Products discussed included cyanide and trials with cyanide pellets in Dama and Bennett’s wallabies with 2009 registration for control of wallabies.

A new product, Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP), effective for control of stoats and feral cats is advancing along the registration and approval process. RatAbate contains diphacinone, a first generation anticoagulant which is not persistent and does not contaminate food webs, yet provides effective control of rodents. A zinc phosphide product is being developed for possums, rats and mice, and sodium nitrite for pigs.

Shaun McClaren from NZ Biosecure spoke on the mosquito surveillance control programme at the Devonport Naval Base. There are three types of mosquito traps used to monitor for new mosquito species arriving in the country. The ovi trap is for eggs; the tyre trap for larvae; and a light trap using carbon dioxide and octenol to attract adult mosquitoes. The traps are checked weekly with mosquito larvae and adults identified and eggs reared for identification. There are a number of mosquito species present in Australia and the Pacific Islands which carry a range of diseases. These diseases include Ross River virus, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, malaria, yellow fever and filarisis.

Warren Agnew talked about a new trap he is developing and about how the Black Trakka tunnels can be used to identify many different animal species and their sex from footprints. The new traps, which should be on the market in 2010, apply the toxin to the back of the animal as it goes through a tunnel. The trap is designed to control pests such as mustelids, rodents and hedgehogs and is activated by sensors as the animal walks through the tunnel. The toxin is delivered with a propellant delivered from a gas cylinder.

HorsetailDan Blanchon from Unitec gave a talk on horsetails or Equisetum species. All Equisetum species are listed on the National Pest Plant Accord as plants prohibited from sale, propagation and distribution within New Zealand. Florists import a range of plant material into the country including horsetail which is required to be devitalised to prevent the material from being propagated. Glyphosate is applied to the plant material in the country of origin before its export to NZ. Dan suspects not all plant material imported into the country is treated correctly as he has found some material can be propagated. Dan is carrying out devitalisation trials with glyphosate and other chemicals. Horsetail species are resistant to most herbicides and spread by extensive rhizome systems, they can also spread by spores and can form pure stands in a wide range of damp habitats.

Wendy John from Friends of Oakley Creek talking to branch membersThe meeting and talks concluded with lunch followed by a field trip to Oakley Creek which runs at the back of the Unitec grounds. This creek has been the site of great restoration efforts by the community group, Friends of the Oakley Creek.

Greg Hoskins
Executive Member
Northland-Auckland Branch
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