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Australia: East and west working together to eradicate fruit flies

A close collaboration between eastern and western Australian regions has strengthened the capabilities of the Goulburn Murray Valley to rid the region of the Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF). Effective area-wide management has been applied to the two regions to control the QFF locally and the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) further afield, in the west.

Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly coordinator Ross Abberfield recently took up an invitation from the Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to inspect Perth and Carnarvon’s Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) facilities and to engage with grower and community groups.

Abberfield: “The exchange was a mutually beneficial experience. We have learned from each other, established bonds and will continue to share knowledge and experiences.”

The Carnarvon project combines grower and community engagement to improve on-farm hygiene practices with a variety of control activities to reduce Medfly numbers, including a baiting and trapping program for the use of SIT release. SIT is the rearing of male Medflies that are sterilised and released into affected areas so that wild females that mate with a sterile male produce no offspring.

According to, more than five million sterile males are released in the Carnarvon region each week with the area experiencing a significant decrease in the number of wild Medflies caught in its trapping grid.

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