Keeping Lord Howe safe from invasive pest species has been a long-held priority for the Island and continues to be an important priority following many successful and ongoing removals of invasive species.
Biosecurity is characterised by actions that allow us to be able to prevent, respond to and recover from pests and diseases that threaten the island, and is a key element of the LHIB charter.
At the September 2022 Meeting, the Board approved the Biosecurity Strategy (see link below) for the next two years until 2024, to align with the recent funding announcement. This strategy aims to reduce the likelihood of invasive species introduction from historic high levels to less likely or low risk potential.
The objectives are:
- Reduced risk of non-native species being introduced to Lord Howe Island
- Early detection of any new introductions that do occur
- Reduced impact of established non-native species on biodiversity, community, economic and island values
- Increased level of knowledge about the risks posed by non-native species and understanding of measures required to minimise these risks amongst the LHI community, visitors, and other stakeholders.
These objectives are met through quarantine, surveillance and response activities conducted by the LHIB.
The LHIB’s overarching biosecurity delivery on island involves a high level of surveillance as well as control and eradication activities, including:
- African Big-Headed Ants final checks and treatments prior to 2nd success check
- Phytophthora monitoring and treatment
- Termite monitoring treatment and eradication planning
- Weed eradication efforts
- Rodent surveillance
Over the next few months, more information on all on island biosecurity programs will also be shared.
Following the rodent response project in 2021, a review of the monitoring network on the island was completed by the Queensland University of Technology. It analysed the past and current on-island monitoring networks and suggested a level of confidence of detection of rodents if the plan is followed.
The monitoring network uses an array of methods for detection purposes. It consists of motion sensitive trail cameras, traps, and other static devices placed in the environment. The second and more visible part of the monitoring system is the use of rodent detector dog teams searching the settlement area every six weeks. Most members of the community will be familiar with this work.
Until the significant improvements planned in our mainland biosecurity occurs there is an ongoing requirement for this intensive monitoring to occur on island.
For at least the next 6-12 months the use of detector dog teams will continue to operate on Lord Howe Island. The expected schedule for this work is:
- 7-24 December 2022
- 14-28 January 2023
- 1-14 March 2023
- 14-28 April 2023
- 26 May - 9 June 2023
In the past leaseholders have been contacted to ensure this work is as low impact as it can possibly be. With the schedule now in place, feedback from all leaseholders and stakeholders will be soon be sought regarding property access and notification preferences for this work into the future.
If you have any questions about Lord Howe Island Biosecurity or the LHI Biosecurity Strategy 2022-2024 please email [email protected] Regards,
Chief Executive Officer