Predicting hot spots for invasive species
One of the best ways to prevent weed spread is to identify areas they are most likely to invade.
QMDC and CSIRO are working together to produce maps that identify ‘hot spots’ so we know where in the landscape to look for weeds and to prepare for a rapid response. This habitat suitability project will help land managers in the basin keep a step ahead of weeds and feral pests.
It combines science in the form of spatial mapping and modelling, with the knowledge of field and research experts with hands-on experience in managing weeds. We have produced a series of maps of habitat suitability and susceptibility for:
- parthenium weed
- rabbits, and
- feral pigs.
The strength of this modelling is the ability to run different scenarios to clearly show the impact that factors like seasonal conditions and soil type have on the potential for a species to spread.
The results inform land managers with an “on the ground” focus and help them plan their investment in weed and pest prevention. The model is an evolving tool that can be consistently updated with new spatial data and new ecological information and allows easy adaptation for new weed and pest threats.