2016 RESEARCH & SCIENCE

OUR WINNERS

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BANKSIA FOUNDATION

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RESEARCH & SCIENCE

 

 

 

FeralScan by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, ACT

Introduced pest animals such as rabbits, feral cats, foxes and wild dogs, occur in all areas of Australia and cause over $1 billion damage to agricultural production, biodiversity, threatened species and human health each year. In response, farmers, governments, community, indigenous groups and industry organisations invest millions of dollars trying to reduce the impacts of pest animals, placing further pressure on existing resources and people. The FeralScan Program (available at www.feralscan.org.au and via Smart Phone App) helps to bring citizen science centre-stage with traditional approaches to reduce the impacts of Australia’s worst introduced pest animals on biodiversity, threatened species, agricultural productivity, the environment and people. It provides new digital technology through purpose-built web- and Smart Phone Apps, that empower communities to be part of a solution to introduced pest animals. For the first time, communities have an easy way of documenting pest problems in their local area. Information recorded by the community is delivered directly into the hands of land managers, farmers, indigenous groups, and biosecurity stakeholders all over Australia. In this way, it provides technology for active surveillance and detection of pest animals; it centralises and shares data; alerts people to new issues; tracks progress of management actions, and guides local control activities.