Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Pest animals and climate change

A recent report, The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in New South Wales, by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre has highlighted the significant impact of pest animals on the environment.

The findings from Biodiversity conservation research in a changing climate indicate climate change is likely to allow new and existing pests to establish and expand their ranges, increasing the threat they pose to biodiversity.

To respond to such threats, we need to know the current extent and impacts of pest animals, how the distribution of pests is affected by the climate and habitat, and how the climate and habitats will change in the future.

These are not easy tasks. For existing pests, we may know where they are, but their impacts on biodiversity are poorly defined and difficult to assess. Even less is known about their distribution as a function of climatic and habitat variables.

In the face of this uncertainty, it is important to develop systematic approaches to decision making. To address this problem the Office of Environment and Heritage is working on a project with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The project is developing statistical models to predict the distribution of pest animals as the climate changes. A report has been prepared by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Modelling the distribution of vertebrate pests in New South Wales under climate change.

Case study


Page last updated: 03 November 2011