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9 November 1998
The white-spotted tussock moth is gone from Auckland’s eastern suburbs, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is set to undertake limited precautionary trapping for the tussock moth this month in the greater Auckland area.
Pheromone-baited traps will be placed throughout the region and checked on a regular basis.
The Ministry is confident that if any tussock moths had survived they would have become evident by now through damaged trees and gardens, and would have been caught in traps last season or sighted by Auckland residents.
There is however a small but unquantifiable risk that the tussock moth may have been carried out of the originally infested area before restrictions on moving vegetation were imposed under the Biosecurity Act in October 1996.
Operation Ever Green was established by the Ministry in 1996 to eradicate the tussock moth, and was wound up in July confident that it had achieved its objective. The operation takes its place in history as one of the most successful eradication programmes ever undertaken in an urban area.
The last white-spotted tussock moth was sighted in April 1997 when six male moths were trapped in the Kohimarama area following a programme of aerial and ground spraying in Auckland’s eastern suburbs between October 1996 and March 1997.
The last remaining laboratory population of tussock moths, held by Forestry Research in Rotorua, was destroyed as part of the wind-up of Operation Ever Green. The colony had been used for a number of research initiatives, such as in feeding trials.
MAF credits a lot of the success of Operation Ever Green to the eastern suburbs residents who accepted the need for spraying, who reported the caterpillars and moths they found, who observed two years of vegetation restrictions and welcomed traps onto their properties.
For further information contact:
Ross Morgan, National Manager Forest Health, ph: 0800 765 000 or Mobile: 025 938 149