Incursions of invasive exotic vertebrate pests need to be detected early for there to be any chance of cost-effective containment and eradication. With the diverse array of exotic species of concern and the wide array of possible introduction points, there is insufficient public funding available for structured, human-based, agency delivered surveillance to meet this need. However, advances in sensor and genetic sampling technology may enable more cost-effective surveillance by industry and government, and harnessing the observational powers of community surveillance activities can potentially increase the scale and sensitivity of surveillance efforts dramatically.
There has been little evaluation of vertebrate pest biosecurity information content of community surveillance data streams, and how they could contribute to the timely detection of incursions of invasive exotic vertebrates into Australia. The aim of this research will be guidelines for how to best combine passive and active surveillance tools with community surveillance in a complementary manner to enable the timely detection of invasive vertebrates and hence prevent the establishment of further vertebrate pests.
The broad research objective is to develop a coherent, complementary surveillance approach for combining community surveillance and targeted surveillance using passive and active sensing technologies to detect and manage vertebrate pest incursions in a timely manner.