23 Sep 2004

NZ pays for Pacific biosecurity programme

1:30 pm on 23 September 2004

Biosecurity measures in the Pacific are to be boosted by a New Zealand Aid package awarded to the University of Auckland.

650,000 US dollars is being made available to pay for three scientists to work on preventing and eradicating invasive species in the Pacific.

The project coordinator Alan Saunders says island ecologies are increasingly vulnerable because of increased international travel and trade.

"Invasive alien species have been ranked as the most important factor effecting people's livelihoods and causing biodiversity declines on islands around the world."

The team will develop biosecurity measures to eradicate and protect against the cane toad, red ants, rats and other species that damage crops and ecosystems.