Your monthly research, development and engagement update from the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
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   The (Chair +) CEO Yarn

Dear <<First Name>>,

It is our last CISS Chronicle for the year, and the first opportunity to officially welcome Bruce Christie as the new Chair of our Centre. Bruce is well known to many and has over 30 years of experience working in biosecurity, initially as a veterinarian working on animal disease management and then within the broader biosecurity spectrum of animal and plant pests, diseases, and weeds.

He'll be a great asset to our community and as is customary for our final year Yarn, below is a joint statement from both of us.

At the end of 2019 we looked forward to seeing many of you at Australasia’s premier vertebrate pest conference (AVPC) in Melbourne in May. Well, as a bit of déjà vu, we again say we look forward to welcoming you to the conference in May 2021 and have made the decision to go fully virtual. More on this below.

‘Unprecedented’ and ‘adaptation’ are two key words which have defined 2020, as bushfires, major storms and of course COVID-19 has required all Australians to quickly adapt to a new normal and has also put a major spotlight on the threats to our biosecurity system.

CISS has been proud to be part of solution to ensure we are delivering tools and products which are strengthening Australia’s biosecurity shield.

While difficult to do in just a few sentences, the major highlights from 2020 can be summed up in three main areas, where we have:

  • Added value across our National Biosecurity System through the extensive trialling of a portable environmental DNA (eDNA) device to detect national priority exotic pests, and the development of web scraper tools to monitor e-commerce sites for the sale of illegal and/or inhibited species.
  • Developed new on-farm tools such as the national registration of a PAPP-Putty - a lethal trap device for wild dogs and foxes - which will be available in 2021, as well as large scale trials of a feral deer aggregator to optimise deer management activities. We have also begun the national registration process for a new rabbit biocontrol agent and a new feral cat toxin.
  • Accelerated adoption of best practice management through the extensive upgrades of PestSmart and FeralScan, and the launch of a brand-new national weeds website – WeedsAustralia, along with the employment of a brand new National Deer Management Coordinator.
You can read a much more detailed version of the above points in our Annual Report here

As the year comes to an end, and many of us are now starting to wind down, we want to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to bringing you more exciting developments in 2021.

Bruce Christie
Chair | Centre for Invasive Species Solutions

Andreas Glanznig
CEO | Centre for Invasive Species Solutions

Our 3rd year of RD&E operations has seen us hit some major goals. We are very proud our army of project leaders and team members across Australia driving innovation and advancing the sector.

You can read all about it in our 2019/2020 Annual Report

Go straight to:

Commercialisation rights to Wild Dog Alert - seeking EOIs 

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are currently open via NSW DPI, as the first step in identifying commercial partner/s that can further develop and commercialise the Wild Dog Alert technologies developed through our Centre's collaboration. 

The aim is to enable wide availability and commercial adoption of the product in a viable and relatively affordable way.

This Wild Dog Alert project was led by NSW DPI and UNE and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Australian Wool Innovation.

Find out more about the EOI process
Find out more about Wild Dog Alert

Seeing more rabbits over summer does not mean we are losing the fight

It is common around this time of year to see more rabbits hopping around. This is often interpreted as a worsening rabbit problem. So, why do we see more rabbits over summer and can we do anything about it?

Keep reading the full story

FeralScan and pest management workshops in NSW - 44 completed and counting

Forty-four training sessions for communities and pest management organisations have been delivered across NSW in 2020, as part of the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions FeralScan pest animal community monitoring program.

Keep reading the full story

Learning how to make wild dogs take the bait

Australian Government-funded workshops are helping organic-certified producers in South Australia combat the wild dog scourge while maintaining access to premium organic markets.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the baiting workshops were the first of their kind to be held in Australia.

Our own Greg Mifsud was involved in the workshops in his capacity as National Wild Dog Management Coordinator.

Read the joint Ministerial media release

A number of our online pest animal toolkits have associated printable glovebox guides, which are handy for promoting best practice information at training events, workshops and field days. Fill out the online form via our PestSmart website to order these guides today*

*printing and postage charges apply
Order guides here

Government weeds lists and strategies page updated on WeedsAustralia

After a number of requests and with thanks to our colleagues within the Weeds Working Group of the Environment and Invasives Committee we have recently updated our weeds lists page on the WeedsAustralia.

Along with the Weeds of National Significance, the page now includes the most up to date lists of:

  • Candidate weeds for biological control
  • National Environmental Alert List
  • Agricultural sleeper weeds list
  • Species targeted for eradication
Image by Peter Tremain
View the updated website page

Our 2019/2020 Annual Report now available

Our Annual Report is now available online for download. It contains updates on our full suite of research programs and innovation, along with key updates from our extension and commercialisation activities.

Download our Annual Report

Congratulations to our General Manager on receiving Mentor of the Year

We are very proud of Lucie Hassall, our General Manager, who has been awarded Mentor of the Year in the National Association of Women in Construction 2020 ACT Awards.

Lucie has been with us for about 6 months, prior to which she was with Lendlease for many years.
Lucie received the award back on Friday the 20th of November at an event at the National Arboretum.

Well done Lucie and we are so glad you are part of our team.

AVPC2021 going virtual

After much deliberation, the AVPC Organising Committee are delighted to let you know we will be hosting the conference virtually in 2021 over three days in May - Tuesday 25th - Thursday 27th May 2021. Lock in those dates into your calendars.

Given the ongoing international and domestic impact of COVID-19, we hope this decision will give everyone the safest and best possible opportunity to participate in the conference.

Registrations are open and costs to attend have been significantly reduced. We will be back in touch about the revised program in the new year.

AVPC is hosted by our Centre in partnership with Agriculture Victoria

View the AVPC website

An update from the National Feral Pig Action Plan

Thanks to Dr Heather Channon, National Feral Pig Management Coordinator for providing an update for our readers. 

The development of National Feral Pig Action Plan is well on track to be submitted to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment by mid-January 2021, after which stakeholders will be provided with options to provide feedback as well.

Keep reading the full update

Workshops set to educate SA producers on feral deer control

Thanks to Livestock SA for providing this story which highlights that SA producers will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of feral deer control and the use of large-scale deer traps as part of a new project funded by the Federal Government’s Smart Farms, Small Grants program.

Newly appointed National Deer Management Coordinator, Dr Annelise Wiebkin, will be supporting these workshops and working with stakeholders across government, industry and community to tackle growing numbers and co-develop a National Feral Deer Management Action Plan.

Image by Peter Tremain

Keep reading

Congratulations to Professor Di Gleeson on her new role

Our eDNA project leader and all round superstar researcher and educator Professor Di Gleeson from the University of Canberra has just been appointed as Associate Dean of Research & Innovation with the Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Canberra.

This is a significant leadership role at the university and we are extremely proud of Professor Gleeson and look forward to working with her in both her capacity as a project leader and a strategic partner with the Centre in her new role.

Feral cat economic impacts on agriculture released

A national study delivered through the Threatened Species Recovery Hub has found that diseases carried by cats are having a $12 million impact on Australian agriculture each year with the sheep industry the worst impacted.

Lead author Professor Sarah Legge from the Australian National University and the University of Queensland said these cat-dependent diseases have a range of impacts on infected animals.

“We found that Toxoplasmosis infections cause the loss of over 62,000 unborn lambs each year in Australia, costing the industry around $10 million each year,” said Prof Legge.

Image by Joe Scanlan

Find out more
18th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
"Feral Futures 2051"
25-27 May, 2021 - Virtual
Visit event website

21st Weeds NSW Conference
"discover through recovery"
23-26 August, 2021 - Albury, NSW
Visit event website

22nd Australasian Weeds Conference
"A weed odyssey: innovation for the future"
10-13 October, 2021 - Adelaide, SA
Visit event website
Thanks for reading this issue of the CISS Chronicle. 

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We'll be back in 2021!
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