The Origin of Species: Using Genetics in Pest Management

Key questions in pest management include the number of individuals that have invaded an area, their origin, whether invasive populations are expanding or declining, whether they are transient or resident and which individuals disperse. New methods from human forensics may illuminate the dynamics of invasive population’s better then traditional approaches. These genetic analyses have recently become more accurate and feasible as a result of improved technology and statistical methods, and in combination with ecological data offer a new perspective into the dynamics of populations and the movement of individuals. Although rarely used for this purpose, such an approach may prove vital for pest and disease management. To demonstrate the application of genetics to pest management, we are using the westward expansion of the European starling (Sturmus vulgaris) as a test case to study an invasion in progress. We aim to provide a clearer picture of starling movements in Australia by using population genetics, and provide information to relevant agencies to improve pest management strategies.

Author Rollins, L. A., Woolnough, A. P., Sherwin, W. B. and Sinclair, R.
Date 2005-05-02
Year 2005
Secondary title 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
Place published Wellington, NZ
Publisher Landcare Research
Pages 108-113
Region Australia - national
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