Development of a national ‘invasive species management’ digital information portal


The existing PestSmart toolkit distils 12 years of research on best practice pest animal management, and offers a central resource library and repository of information. A major aspect of this toolkit is the PestSmart Connect website launched in March 2015. 

PestSmart is a proven and valued tool. The platform is becoming well known and utilised as a digital resource for land managers wanting to learn more about pest animal management.  

Our Centre now has a number of digital tools now developed including FeralScan, the Invasives Action Tool and species-specific Decision Support Systems and this project is about integrating all these resources to create a one-stop shop for invasive species management information in one place and to link out to other useful digital resources. As part of this project we are also aiming to incorporate weeds management information so it encompasses both invasive plants and animals.  




The aim of this project is to ensure that invasive species best practice information is easily and readily available to our end-users and can be shared through our partner and member organisations, so they can be confident they are sharing information which is factual, correct and relevant to their stakeholders. 

It includes the following objectives to: 

  1. Undertake a review of current and future digital biosecurity and invasive species tools to ensure collaboration, coordination and investment in an innovative product that is not in direct competition with already existing programs. 
  2. Develop a robust and end-user driven digital resource tailored to the objectives of our partner and member organisations. 
  3. Provide purpose-built and engaging PestSmart and Weeds toolkits and resources for best practice management planning, coordination and monitoring via digital and printed means, and update content were appropriate. 
  4. Ensure integration of invasive species data (where possible) across platforms such as FeralScan and independent programs to enable a one-stop shop for invasive species information. 
  5. Undertake monitoring and evaluation of the digital assets to assess the impact of awareness and knowledge in the sector. 

Project Leader

Dr Ian McDonald
Project Team
  • Ian McDonald, Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
  • Yvette Cazabon, Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
  • Peter West, NSW Department of Primary Industries

As part of this project various individuals and agencies were contracted to support delivery

  • Rachel Melland Consulting (weeds website strategy and planning)
  • Briarbird Consulting (PestSmart website strategy and planning)
  • Plural Agency (website design and development)
  • Atlas of Living Australia (weeds management profiles support and delivery)
  • South Australian Herbarium (weeds management profiles update)
  • Identic (weeds identification lucid key application)
  • Innovate Communicate (pest animal glovebox guides readability review and assessment)
Project Partners

All our members, partners and key stakeholders will provide input into this project and website re-development through consultation and workshops.

This project receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


February 2021 update:

WeedsAustralia launched 13th April 2020 and has had 289, 376 page views via 75,090 users. The site is still a beta version while all 398 weeds profiles are undergoing a technical review with approximately 50% now completed.

The PestSmart upgrade was launched 24th August 2020 and has had 141,922 page views from 73,101 users. The site has also had 9 orders of glovebox guides resulting in 7000 printed guides going out across Australia between September and December 2020. A new feral cat management glovebox guide has been developed and is now available to download/print.

All websites are live and performing well the next stage is to develop a long-term adoption plan and provide some final modifications to the sites.

August 2020 update:

After two years of stakeholder engagement and a co-design website planning and development process involving consultation with more than 500 stakeholders across the pest animal and weeds community, this project has successfully delivered the following national digital invasive species extension platforms:

  1. A brand new national weeds website -WeedsAustralia (released as beta version in April) –
  2. An upgraded and new look national pest animals website -PestSmart (released in August) –
  3. A new community engagement information portal -Community Invasives Action (released in July)

February 2020 update:

An official partnership was formed with the Atlas of Living Australia to house the Centre’s 398 Weeds Australia profiles through their profiles tool. This will ensure the weed profiles are maintained through a long-term national database. The profiles will be linked seamlessly into a new Weeds Australia website, ensuring no user confusion between the sites. The project is on track to deliver a dynamic and engaging new national weeds website which will be up and running in its first stage format in 2020.

Landholders, researchers, policy analysts and extension officers (private and public) participated in a workshop focused on developing the new PestSmart website architecture in October 2019. The upgraded website is now currently in development and on track to be delivered by May 2020. In addition, the project is delivering a microsite dedicated to all CISS community engagement and behavior change resources, along with a prominent landing page to bring all the resources together – these are in progress and should be complete by August 2020.

August 2019 update:

Over 600 key users and stakeholder groups have been engaged over the past 24 months, to develop the pest animal and weed best practice management digital extension resources.

In partnership with Atlas of Living Australia, the weeds website strategy has been completed. A national website will be delivered by January 2020. An upgrade of the PestSmart website is progressing through user surveys. Further understanding of user experience will ensure development of a wireframe with clear information processes, planned to launch by May 2020.

Both websites will form Australia’s first Invasives Portal, a digital system dedicated to promoting best practice management of invasives in Australia.
Once up and running, the weeds website content updates will be managed by a contractor. User experience workshops for PestSmart, and the development of a website tender to start the website build will also be contracted.

February 2019 update: 

Over the past 12 months, the CISS digital communications delivery team has focused on engagement with users of weeds information to ensure that the creation of a new national weeds information website meets their needs. 

To this end, the team has attended key stakeholder meetings, run an online survey and undertaken a workshop which has resulted in developing a preliminary website framework which will be road tested over the coming months. 

Scientific Publications:

  • McDonald I and McKinnon M (2019) ‘Communicating biosecurity information to Australian-registered veterinarians’, Australian Veterinary Journal,