Wildlife Disease and Zoonotics


Date of this Version



G. Gordh and S. McKirdy (eds.), The Handbook of Plant Biosecurity, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-7365-3_11


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Countries design biosecurity systems to protect their animal, plant, and environmental resources from invasive alien species. Countries maintain biosecurity systems to safely manage trade and prevent the introduction of invasive pests (insects, diseases and weeds) through numerous pathways of entry. Plant biosecurity programmes seek to exclude exotic organisms from becoming established on agricultural crops, ornamental plants and “natural” areas. Without barriers for entry, invasive organisms can expand their range, colonize new territory and cause considerable economic and environmental damage (Magarey et al. 2009). Spatially, one country’s biosecurity efforts may be categorised as “pre-border”, “border” and “post-border” when describing that country’s attempts at minimising the movement of unwanted organisms. Countries collaborate internationally on a range of interrelated biosecurity activities to confront these exotic invasive species. Surveillance is a key component of that continuum. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) defines surveillance as an official process which collects and records data on pest occurrence or absence by survey, monitoring or other procedures. The diverse purposes of surveillance include: • Promote early detection of pests to facilitate eradication or management; • Support trade by demonstrating areas of pest freedom or low pest prevalence; • Describe the distribution and prevalence of risk organisms already present; • Delimit the full extent of pest population following a detected incursion; • Measure the success of biosecurity systems; • Enable management and cost benefit decisions; • Develop a list of pests or hosts present in an area; • Monitor progress in a pest eradication campaign; • Enable reporting to other organisations. National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPO) and other regulatory agencies conduct different types of survey programmes to fulfil these needs. In addition, these Plant Protection agencies often rely on outreach to passively surveil partners who report pest detections. For example, in New Zealand most new pest detections are reported by industry, researchers, and the public via a toll-free telephone number (Froud et al. 2008). The success of plant protection programmes depends on the ability to detect pests. To conduct a survey, a large number of associated tools and technologies are required (Fig. 11.1). Some of the tools/technology involve statistics, GIS, data management and risk mapping, and will be discussed in this chapter. However, effective surveillance tools and technology are often lacking. When no effective insect trap or lure exists, officials must rely on visual surveys. Detecting plant diseases often presents an even greater challenge. The combination of high costs and inadequate technology leads to survey programmes that are less than optimal. As a result, pests frequently are introduced and become established before timely detection. With delay in discovery of invasive pests, the likelihood of eradication decreases while the cost of control/management/eradication increases dramatically. Figure 11.2 shows the hierarchy of surveillance activities and the flow of information. The flow of information starts at the point of collection in the field. From that point, the information is integrated and tailored to meet the needs of various end-users. For a fruit fly trapping example, regulatory officials collect, clean and compile survey data for managers to use to control fruit fly outbreaks (Chap. 15). For another application, industry collects survey data as part of the day-to-day commercial operations. This data is then used as a basis to run predictive models that can help industry understand the movement of emerging pests or pests of phytosanitary concern (Chap. 9). The same data might also be used by growers or regulatory officials to take action in support of surveillance or eradication. This chapter outlines types of survey operations and provides a review of survey design, information management, data integration, modelling, and GIS. Surveys may be structured around high-consequence target pests. Other surveys may focus on commodities and the survey of exotic pests that may be found associated with that commodity. Still other surveys may target high-risk areas. The USDA, APHIS PPQ Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) serves as an example of a large surveillance programme that demonstrates various surveillance concepts in practise.