12 biosecurity failures in Australia: Emerald furrow bee

Biosecurity failure: Emerald furrow beeThe Emerald furrow bee was discovered by chance in Australia’s Hunter Valley in 2004.

Apart from surveys in 2008-2010 funded by philanthropy, this new invasive species in Australia has been ignored.

Little is known about the bee’s ecology, distribution and impacts. It exemplifies the catch 22 situation that applies with many environmental incursions – too little is known about potential impacts to motivate biosecurity authorities to take action yet by the time impacts become obvious it is too late for eradication or containment.

It is important to prevent further introductions that could increase the species’ environmental tolerance.

More case studies

This is just one of 12 case studies demonstrating how weaknesses in Australia’s biosecurity systems have allowed the entry and establishment of new species likely to cause environmental harm.

All 12 case studies were submitted to the Australian Senate inquiry into how well we are prepared to prevent the entry and establishment of invasive species likely to harm our natural environment.

Image: courtesy Stefan Schmidt, Creative Commons Licence