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Non-lethal management strategies highlighted in New Zealand symposium

Late last year (30th November - 2nd December), Julianne O'Reilly-Wapstra, Alison Miller, Natasha Wiggins (all from the University of Tasmania) and Tim Wardlaw (Forestry Tasmania) travelled to Napier in New Zealand to present research talks at the 22nd Annual Australasian Wildlife Management Society Conference.

The conference was structured around a series of symposia addressing a range of topics:

  • Genetic management of fragmented populations: should we re-establish gene flow? 
  • Interactions among invasive mammals: impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystem processes
  • Game management and pest management in the South Pacific - beyond the barriers
  • Mitigating impacts of pest species through non-lethal management strategies
  • Assisted colonisation: translocation of species into areas that are anticipated to become suitable habitat with climate change
Participants at the conference came from many backgrounds including government wildlife, land management and agricultural agency staff; CSIRO and CRIs; universities and other research groups; and private groups (including game associations and conservation groups).

The symposium titled “Mitigating impacts of pest species through non-lethal management strategies” was hosted by Julianne.  Twelve speakers from Australia and New Zealand presented spoken papers in the session.  Tim gave a plenary talk (abstract) that examined how Forestry Tasmania stopped using 1080 poison for browsing control in plantations: the roles of policy in providing the push for change; science in devising an exit strategy; and operations in delivering its implementation.  Julianne discussed whether genetic-based plant resistance to mammalian herbivores can be used as a viable management tool (abstract);  Natasha and Alison presented aspects of their research funded by the TCFA Alternatives to 1080 Programme.  Natasha discussed the use of physical barriers (abstract) and Alison examined the efficacy of manipulating seedling palatability (abstract) for non-lethal browsing management.  The symposium was very well received by the audience because of its strong links with management.

Biobuzz issue eleven, May 2010