No monitoring of native insect populations short-sighted

18 August 2017
Senior Lecturer, Dr Margaret Stanley, School of Biological Sciences

New Zealand has a long history of introducing foreign insect predators to control crop pests and weeds. How risky is that? Thanks to a lack of long-term monitoring of our native insect populations, nobody really knows, Senior Lecturer, Margaret Stanley explains.

Changes in science funding over the last few decades, and the vagaries of politics, means that long-term population monitoring is no longer ‘sexy’ and not worthy of funding. 

These types of datasets are difficult to maintain because they exceed cycles of funding and government administration. 

In New Zealand we now lament the loss of amazing datasets that have provided the foundation and impetus for some amazing science around ecology, conservation and pest control: e.g. the Orongorongo Valley dataset, and the long term monitoring of wasps, pests and birds in Nelson.

 Read the opinion piece.