Queensland’s softwood plantations cover almost 150,000 ha, principally located along the coastal lowland strip from Beerburrum to Maryborough. The threat to this resource from exotic pests is real and increasing. Rapid movement and greater volumes of international freight heightens the risk of introduction of exotic forest pests. Imported goods are increasingly opened away from entry ports, dispersing risk to urban environments whose proximity to the pine estate poses a significant threat to this resource. Strategic post-border urban surveillance allows new incursions to be detected early enough for eradication and containment. Surveillance at this point in the biosecurity continuum delivers better outcomes and a much higher benefit:cost.
Trapping at high risk sites in the port cities of Brisbane and Gladstone targets taxa groups rather than individual species, through the use of a generalist lure for timber boring beetle species. Recent mapping activities have refined the trapping program, ensuring traps are strategically located in terms of proximity to both high risk sites and exotic pine hosts. Trapping over the last ten years has identified over 70 species from the target taxa, including natives, already established exotics and a number of new records. As well as providing evidence of area-freedom for specific pests this trapping delivers important background information on the occurrence of different species, enabling more rapid recognition of new exotics and therefore prompt and targeted eradication efforts. A range of lures and traps are now on-hand for immediate response to exotic incursions. Queensland’s trapping program supports efforts towards a national, interagency forest biosecurity surveillance strategy.