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National Forest Pest Surveillance webinar 2023

The first PSNAP webinar on National Forest Pest Surveillance was held 2 February 2023. With an array of excellent presenters and 83 attendees, this well received and informative webinar provided an overview of the National Forest Pest Surveillance Program, introduced the MyPestGuide® Reporter App and discussed the importance of expanding forest surveillance in Australia.

The webinar also explored several case studies of surveillance experiences in different states and territories, concluding with a Q and A forum.

Webinar highlights:

Rohan Burgess from Plant Health Australia spoke about the importance of urban surveillance as part of the National Forest Pest Surveillance Program and presented:

  • an overview of the National Forest Pest Surveillance Program
  • how urban areas are emerging as risk areas and a key focus of the Program
  • how targeted and general surveillance are equally important to the Program’s success
  • the importance of community engagement to increase awareness of biosecurity risks and surveillance.

Laura Fagan from the WA Department of Primary Industry introduced the MyPestGuide® Reporter App and described forest pest surveillance activities in Western Australia. She presented:

  • a summary of forest surveillance activities in WA, including the Polyphagous shot-hole borer response
  • an overview of the MyPestGuide® Reporter App – a new tool to assist forest surveillance practitioners
  • lessons learned from the TREEmendous Biosecurity Blitz 2022.

Paco Tovar, Forest Biosecurity Manager of the Australian Forest Products Association, talked broadly about the research and engagement activities undertaken by the National Forest Pest Surveillance Program, including:

  • how the Program increases awareness and engagement amongst stakeholders
  • how solutions are developed through evidence-based research and development
  • the identification of pest pathways through risk analysis
  • an overview of the strategies undertaken to expand surveillance and grow the surveillance community
  • how this additional layer to the biosecurity system increases active surveillance, early detection and eradication of exotic pests.

Janet McDonald, the Forest Health Surveillance Project Leader of the Horticulture and Forestry Science with the QLD government, described past and current responses on Forest surveillance experiences in QLD and covered:

  • mapping techniques, including remote and satellite drone surveillance
  • surveillance methodologies and training activities
  • tree health assessments
  • insect trapping.

Dr Angus Carnegie is the Senior Principal Research Scientist at NSW Department of Primary Industries. He presented an overview of Forest surveillance activities in NSW including:

  • an overview of the NSW forest biosecurity surveillance program
  • the importance of stakeholder engagement and strategies
  • examples of responses to detections in NSW
  • remote sensing and AI techniques for forest surveillance
  • High throughput sequencing, metabarcoding and eDNA sampling
  • related biosecurity surveillance research.

Webinar Presentations (click on title to view)

Speakers Organisation Topic
Rohan Burgess Surveillance Coordinator - Plant Health Australia  

National Forest Pest Surveillance Program

Laura Fagan Development Officer MyPestGuide® - WA DPIRD  

MyPestGuide® Reporter App and forest surveillance activities in Western Australia

Paco Tovar Forest Biosecurity Manager - Australian Forest Products Association  

Expanding Forest Surveillance

Dr Angus Carnegie


Senior Principal Research Scientist - NSW DPI  

Forest surveillance experiences in NSW


Janet McDonald


Forest Health Surveillance Project Leader -Queensland Government  

Forest surveillance experiences in QLD

Panel and Q&A

(All speakers)