Over the years there have been many requests for information relating to vertebrate pests of macadamia and their control. Rats appear to be the most damaging, although other vertebrate pests also cause significant damage. This year's feature article is by Dr David Elmouttie, the Australian and New Zealand Business Manager for BASF Professional and Speciality Solutions portfolio. David started his career as an ecologist with a primary research interest in vertebrate foraging ecology and population management within agricultural systems. Under the supervision of Dr John Wilson, David completed his Honours and PhD degrees, investigating the effects of nut removal from Australian macadamia orchards (Honours) whilst investigating small mammal foraging behaviour and ecology with tropical rainforests for his PhD.
Feedback from the annual pest consultants meeting indicated that pigs, birds (especially cockatoos) and deer are significant vertebrate pests for macadamia. The NSW DPI vertebrate pests unit have contributed useful control strategies for protecting your crop from these pests. They have also provided links to relevant organisations, such as the Office of Environment and Heritage, for obtaining permits for native bird control. Case studies by growers provide practical relevance.
This website has been partly funded by Hort Innovation, using the macadamia research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.