Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Although didymo prefers a river environment with clear water flowing over stable substrate at depths sufficient for light penetration to drive photosynthesis, blooms have been found in South Island Lakes. Lake Wakatipu, for example, contains visible didymo on some parts of the lake shore.
The importer must pay for these.
Implementation of a testing protocol can provide assurances that imports do not contain GM seeds, while still allowing trade to continue. Banning all imports of lucerne and alfalfa seed would not be justified, given that a GM test is available.
A number of steps need to be taken before used vehicles can be cleared for use in New Zealand. For more information see non-biological items in the Other imports section of the site.
A beekeeper notified Biosecurity New Zealand in late February via the Exotic Pest and Disease 0800 number (0800 80 99 66). The disease was confirmed by a new Polymerase Chain Reaction test, which analyses genetic material, developed and implemented at the Investigation and Diagnostic Centre in Wallaceville. It is the first laboratory confirmation of the virus in New Zealand.
Gum leaf skeletoniser caterpillars damage gum trees as they feed on their leaves. The moth's name derives from the young caterpillar's feeding habits. When young caterpillars feed they 'skeletonise' gum leaves by eating the softer parts of leaves, avoiding the veins. Older larvae are capable of eating whole leaves thus increasing damage. This damage can slow tree growth or, in severe cases, even kill younger trees.
Despite its reputation as a eucalypt specialist, gumleaf skeletoniser can also live successfully on other related Australian trees. For more details on its likely impact, see the Factsheet (181 KB).
Gum leaf skeletoniser is found in sub-tropical, Mediterranean, and temperate climates in Australia indicating that it could also be capable of surviving throughout New Zealand, with the exception of alpine areas.
Marine pest organisms can also come to New Zealand as biofouling growing on ship hulls.
Work on the strategy will support a concurrent review of animal welfare legislation – in particular the Animal Welfare Act 1999. The Act has functioned well to support New Zealand’s animal welfare system to date, but requires review in some areas. Linking the legislation review with the strategy development will help ensure that the legislation fully supports New Zealand’s overarching animal welfare strategy.
No, you won’t have to pull them out. It is legal to have a plant that is on the Accord list, but it is illegal to sell, propagate or spread it. The agencies and industry groups involved in implementing the Accord work together to make sure that home gardeners receive good information, including the reasons plants have been included on the Accord (ie their environmental impacts).
Didymo populations grow mainly by asexual cell division. Sexual reproduction is likely, but not yet observed in didymo. The presence of a dormant or resting stage has never been reported. Little is known about which factors trigger asexual versus sexual cell division. Nor is it known what role the mucilaginous stalks have on the lifecycle of didymo especially compared to the more common diatoms which do not produce such extreme amounts of mucilage. It is likely the mucilage protects individual didymo cells from short term dehydration and therefore could aid in dispersal. Free-floating cells of other species of freshwater diatoms have been found to survive only a few hours when completely out of water, but if kept moist, they can survive longer.