"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Australia's Least Wanted – 8 Alien Species and Diseases We Should Keep Off Our Island Home

This week's landmark report on the impact of Invasive alien species In 2019, the price to the worldwide economy exceeded US$423 billion ($654 billion) annually. Costs are minimal Fourfold Every decade for the reason that Nineteen Seventies and the trend continues.

Prevention is healthier than cure. Preventing the arrival and establishment of pests and diseases in Australia shouldn't be only higher for the environment, it's way more. cheap too

Biosecurity systems are our front line against invasion. Species which have a very important status. A threat to agriculture Historically more attention has been paid, but we also have to defend our borders from threats posed by nature.

Here we take a better have a look at among the pests and diseases that we want to avoid in any respect costs to guard our biodiversity.

The attack curve shows the price of managing infiltration at different stages. Prevention is less expensive than coping with invaders after they arrive, and early eradication is less expensive than long-term containment or control.
Invasive Species Council, CC BY-SA

One of the most important threats to biodiversity

Alien species are those which were intentionally or by accident introduced into areas where they aren't native. If they cause problems, we call them nuisances.

Invasive alien species include weeds, wildlife, exotic insects and diseases.

Those who've already arrived have suffered huge losses. Introduced predators were liable for most. Australian mammal extinctions. And introduced diseases have decimated our frogs.

Pushing invasive species. Most (82%) 1,914 of Australia's nationally listed threatened species are near extinction.

Imagine if these invasive species were kept out of Australia. Here are eight. Pests and diseases We actually need to place out.

1. The giant African land snail.

A huge brown snail on one hand
A big African snail in Hong Kong, where it's invasive.
Thomas Brown/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Giant African snails There is an intense hunger. They cultivate greater than 500 species of plants, including agricultural crops and eucalyptus trees. The shells of those giants may be as much as 20 cm long and females typically lay 1,200 eggs a yr. Adult snails can hide in shipping containers or machinery and their eggs may be transferred to soil or equipment. They are actually on Christmas Island.

2. Avian influenza

The faces of two pelicans are approaching, showing their red throats.
Thousands of Dalmatian pelicans died in Europe in 2022 from highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Berger Strahl/Insplash

Avian influenza Or bird flu is a viral disease that happens in birds. Some strains can kill farmed poultry and Sensitive wild birds. Such highly pathogenic strains are believed to have killed hundreds of thousands of untamed birds globally up to now few years. Viruses may also jump into mammals, knocking out recently. 3,500 sea lions Peru.

Migratory birds can bring the virus here, but it could possibly even be carried in imported birds and poultry products, including contaminated eggs, feathers, poultry feed and equipment. Our biosecurity system is liable for this. Monitoring and early detection, preparation and management to guard our vulnerable wildlife. In California, manufacturing involves Vaccination Endangered condors

3. New tramp ants

Near the head of the ant
A red imported fire ant in America.
Alexander Wilde / Wikimedia Commons

We are already fighting some species. The stray ant, but there's more where it got here from – there are at the very least 16 different species. Including six species to date Red imported fire ant They have been traced, and efforts are underway to regulate or eliminate them at their points of infiltration. On Christmas Island, one other species of tramp ant (Yellow crazy ant) formed “supercolonies”, killing every animal of their path, including tens of hundreds of thousands of the island's famous red and bandit crabs. Ants are easily transported to recent areas in dirt, plants and cargo. Tramp ants are a threat to Australia's ecosystems, agriculture and human health.

4. Bat white nose syndrome

A small bat with a white face hangs from the ceiling of the cave.
A bit of brown bat exhibiting white-nose syndrome in America.
Moriarty Marvin/USFWS/Wikimedia Commons

White nose syndrome is a disease of bats brought on by a fungus. In lower than 20 years, it has killed greater than 5 million bats across North America, causing native extinctions and reducing the useful services bats perform, comparable to that eating harmful insects. The fungus may be introduced into Australian caves on the shoes, clothing and equipment of people that have previously visited caves in Europe or North America.

5. Crayfish Plague

A small crayfish in an aquarium
Dwarf Cajun crayfish may be carriers of crayfish plague.
Chris Lukhaup/USDA-FS/Wikimedia Commons

A highly contagious fungal disease, Crayfish Plague It is the fundamental reason for the shortage of crayfish across Europe. It has the potential to devastate Australian freshwater crayfish populations. North American crayfish can carry the disease and the illegal crayfish trade, comparable to dwarf Cajun crayfish for aquariums, also risks introducing the disease.

6. New myrtle rust strains

Leaves covered in yellow powdery bloom.
The plant disease myrtle rust kills native rose apple foliage in Hawaii.
Insects Plants and Animals/Wikimedia Commons

When a strain of myrtle rust arrived in Australia in 2010, it spread rapidly along the east coast, affecting 358 Various native plant species including eucalyptus, bottle brush and lily pads. This has led to major declines and native extinctions of many species. Other Exotic myrtle rust strains Out of Australia. They present serious threats to Australia's natural environment and business native forest plantations. Importing infected plant material is the fundamental risk of introduction.

7. Savannah cats

Close-up of a patterned black and tan cat with large pointed ears.
Savannah cats are bred by crossing a domestic cat with an African serval.
Jason Douglas/Wikimedia Commons

Savannah cats are two to 3 times the dimensions of domestic cats. In 2008, the federal government banned the importation of Savannah cats. Oh Scientific assessment found that domesticated savannah cats have the flexibility to remain and roam in 97 percent of the country in the event that they escape or are abandoned. They can take prey twice as large as wild cats, so 90% of Australia's homeland mammals will likely be threatened. The demand for the species from the pet trade increases the danger of smuggling or illegal trade.

8. Black horse toad

A brown toad with black markings on dried orange leaves.
A black wandering toad in Taiwan.
Lee Cheng Shih/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

gave The black spinning toad Possibly more harmful than the cane toad as it could possibly survive over a wider area including the colder parts of Australia. It will prey on native frogs and other small animals, be toxic to larger animals, and possibly cause exotic parasites or disease. This is a standard stowaway in shipping cargo.

Prioritizing nature

Australia's biosecurity system has generally served our country well, nevertheless it is inconsistent and lacking. Rising tension. Historically, so has the environment Agriculture's poor cousin On the biosecurity table.

Preparedness and response to environmental hazards stays. Chronically underfundedEspecially when their comparisons are made for industry.

A well-resourced independent agency focused on the prevention and early eradication of latest environmental pests and diseases could be a significant step toward achieving our goal. Global commitments To eliminate extinction.