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ARTICLE

Biological control of possums

Possums are one of New Zealand's biggest pests. Currently they are controlled by poisoning and trapping, but this is expensive and ongoing. Biological control has the potential to provide novel ...

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ARTICLE

Amazing ryegrass

Ryegrass is an important food for cattle, but it is also a favourite food of competing insects. Can biological control offer a solution? What's so special about ryegrass? Ryegrass is an important ...

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ARTICLE

Biocontrol

Biological control or biocontrol is the use of one organism to control the numbers of another. Unwanted or introduced species can have a huge impact on New Zealand’s environment, and native flora ...

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ARTICLE

Hormone-toxins to reduce possum fertility

Scientists in New Zealand are investigating whether a roundworm parasite could be used to deliver a hormone toxin to possums. This article looks at the research by scientists at AgResearch, they ...

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Vaccines to reduce possum fertility

The advantages and disadvantages of using a vaccine to reduce possum fertility are explained here. Researchers in New Zealand, at AgResearch, Landcare Research, Victoria University and Otago ...

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Irish wasp to the rescue

In January 2006, a tiny wasp was released onto a Waikato farm to kill an enemy that was devastating pastures. Ten years on, these tiny wasps have saved farmers nearly half a billion dollars. An ...

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TEACHER PLD

Biocontrol in action – unit plan

Students carry out a practical investigation to help AgResearch scientists monitor the spread of Microctonus aethiopoides (a tiny wasp) and its success as a biocontrol agent for clover root ...

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Weevils eat pesky buddleia weeds

Introduced Chinese weevils, Cleopus japonicus, are laying waste to large patches of buddleia in the Bay of Plenty, much to the relief of forest growers and biosecurity managers who have been ...

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Delivering biocontrol agents to possums

Here, we describe transmissible and non-transmissible methods for delivering biocontrol agents to possums. Scientists in New Zealand are developing a range of biocontrol agents to reduce possum ...

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TEACHER PLD

Developing a biocontrol game – unit plan

Students of any level develop a board game illustrating knowledge of New Zealand’s possum problem and the strategies used to control it – including biocontrol strategies. Purpose To demonstrate ...

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ARTICLE

Fighting a little bee mite

A little mite, like a tiny spider the size of a pin head, has been plaguing New Zealand’s bee industry. The mites, called varroa, are parasites which live on the outside of honey bees and their ...

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Making contraceptive vaccines for possums

Here, we explain how contraceptive vaccines for possums are made and how they work. Scientists are developing vaccines to make possums less fertile, because possums are a major pest in New ...

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Key terms and definitions in possum biocontrol

A list of terms used our content on the biological control of possums. Antibodies Proteins, also known as immunoglobulins, produced in the body as part of its immune response. Antibodies bind ...

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ARTICLE

Where is the biotechnology in the possum biocontrol ...

Biological control, or biocontrol, is the use of a living organism, or the product of a living organism, to control the numbers of another organism, usually a pest. The potential advantages of ...

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TEACHER PLD

Making a case for possum biocontrol – unit plan

Students collect information from the public about methods of controlling possum numbers and then present a report on the use of biocontrol. Purpose To demonstrate the complexity of the possum ...

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ARTICLE

Possum biocontrol: Regulations controlling the research

Genetic modification of organisms is a very controversial issue in New Zealand. Regulatory controls have been developed to try to manage the risk of research using genetically modified organisms ...

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Irish wasp gets permit to tackle weevil

A tiny Irish wasp can now be used as a biological control agent against clover root weevil, following permission from the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA). The parasitoid wasp ( ...

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Using a worm to reduce possum numbers

A parasitic worm that naturally infects possums could be the key to controlling possum numbers in New Zealand. Join Supervader and participants from Wellington’s 2006 Kids’ Conference as they ...

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ARTICLE

Poison comes in small packages

A team of scientists from New Zealand and Australia has discovered the way in which a bacterium packages its toxins in a hollow protein shell and then releases them. They say the discovery could ...

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