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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 322

A pragmatic approach to delimiting incursions

G.M. Burnip, J.M. Kean and A.K. Pathan

ABSTRACT

When incursions of exotic organisms are first detected, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) investigators normally assess the spatial extent of populations to evaluate whether eradication is a viable option. However, delimitation of the entire risk area typically requires substantial effort and cost. Collaboration between MPI and Better Border Biosecurity researchers led to the realisation that a quantified geographic distribution of the exotic organism's population is not necessarily required to determine eradication viability. The question is not "where in the landscape is the organism present?" but the more manageable "is the organism present across such a widespread area that eradication is not feasible?" This pragmatic approach focuses on getting the delimitation question right, and narrows the scope of investigative actions to something achievable. This approach informed response option development when the Australian pasture tunnel moth (Philobota sp) incursion was first detected in New Zealand in 2010, and for the eucalyptus leaf beetle (Paropsisterna beata) detected in 2012.

Further details of this approach have been published in: Kean JM, Burnip GM, Pathan A 2014. Detection survey design for decision making during biosecurity incursions. In: Jarrad FC, Low-Choy SJ, Mengersen K ed. Biosecurity Surveillance: Quantitative Approaches. ISBN: 9781780643595. CAB International.

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