Saving Tristan’s only native tree and its associated unique buntings
Invasive non-native species are a major threat on oceanic islands due to their vulnerability and endemism, typical of island ecosystems. On Tristan da Cunha, a remote group of islands in the South Atlantic, Brown soft scale, (Coccus hesperidum), an invasive alien scale insect, has infested Tristan’s only native tree, Phylica arborea; and is now threatening the extinction of one of Britain’s rarest bird species, Nesospiza buntings. There is, therefore, an urgent need to find an appropriate method to mitigate the impact of the scale insects and prevent the total collapse of the Phylica forest. The aim of this project is to select and safely test suitable biocontrol agents to reduce scale numbers below a damaging threshold and safeguard Tristan’s endemic buntings.
Improving pest management in agroforestry on sloping land
Land in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is predominantly mountainous with a high proportion of upland slopes. Agroforestry methods help to maintain sloping land and over 200 established Sloping Land User Groups (SLUGs) already apply these methods. To mitigate associated environmental risks of sloping land, to increase food security of SLUGs and progress slope stabilisation, this project will focus on improving existing management practices of the SLUGs and county tree nurseries, and increasing their knowledge about pest control.
Proactive biocontrol of Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly is an Asian polyphagous pest that feeds on more than 70 plants by sucking the sap out of from leaves, stems and trunks. It was found in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since expanded its geographical distribution. The damage caused by the pest, its sugary excrement and sooty mold has been devastating for the Pennsylvania wine industry – reportedly causing a 90% grape loss.