Phil Lester and colleagues have identified the critical issues facing New Zealand in an article just published in the New Zealand Entomologist. The issues range from the influence of introduced predators on endangered invertebrates, through to the recruitment and retention of insects specialists in New Zealand.
“We have a unique and very special insect fauna, which is also central to our economy” says Phil. “A substantial decline in honey bees, for example, could impair food production and export industries. Many people just assume that bees will be there and pollinate. But the experience overseas with bee colony collapse disorder and in New Zealand with the introduced varroa mite suggests this is a dangerous way of thinking.”
Phil and colleagues followed up this publication with another article in the New Zealand Science Review on the outlook for the control of invasive wasps – a major threat to ecosystems and livelihoods in New Zealand.