Sunday, June 22, 2008

Global warming to boost Pacific pests

ABC (Australia): While global warming threatens the lowlying countries of the Pacific, higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are expected to give invasive pests from South Pacific countries a major advantage. Australian ecologist Tim Low says pests will adapt faster to climate change, and cope better with extreme weather events like cyclones and fires.

To protect native species, Mr Low says the Australian Government needs to strengthen its biosecurity presence in South Pacific countries where many potential threats live. "Electric ants which turned up in Cairns, they are in very high density in a number of other Pacific countries as well."

He says, "We know that timber imports from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are likely to be bringing these ants in and we've got to get out into those countries to make sure they're not getting loaded on the ships in the first place. Moving quarantine off-shore would be one strategy."…

This sketch of ants is by "VxD," Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative CommonsAttribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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