Public talk launches local pest initiative

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A bio-control pest programme – using natural predators – is being launched in Tamahere with an introductory public talk by experts in the field on Tuesday (March 30) evening.

Research technician Hugh Gourlay, from Manaaki Whenua/ Landcare Research and Pest Plans Biosecurity Officer Hamish Hodgson, from Waikato Regional Council, will talk on exciting initiatives in biological control in Tamahere.

The event will be at Tamahere School, in Manuka 16 (signposted) from 7pm to 8.30pm.

Hugh is a specialist in the biological control of weeds, manager of quarantine facilities and expert in insect rearing. He works on the biological control of Ragwort, Old Man’s Beard, Japanese Honeysuckle and many more. Hugh will be teaching students at Tamahere School about biocontrol and also sharing some of his knowledge with the local community.

Hamish will discuss the regional council’s regional and national role in regard to biocontrol, and explain how individuals and communities can get involved in controlling pest species.

Japanese honeysuckle
Japanese Honeysuckle

Waikato District Council, Manaaki Whenua, Waikato Regional Council and Enviroschools are embarking on a biocontrol education programme funded by the Environmental Initiatives Fund with Tamahere, Tauwhare, and Otaua primary schools.

Students will be raising Honshu butterflies and releasing them as biocontrol agents for the prolific, invasive weed Japanese Honeysuckle.

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