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Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

Hean Vanhan

In Cambodia, there is no large-scale commercial cultivation of coconut palms or coconut industry and no data on coconut production. Coconut palms are the main feature of family gardens and green or mature coconuts provide regular income. During the last five years, coconut palm plantations have been developing in some provinces. A preliminary survey conducted in 2004 showed that there were at least 12 million coconut palms in Cambodia. Among the coconut pests in Cambodia, rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros L.) is well known among Cambodian farmers and was believed to be the only insect that could attack coconut palms. In late 2001, coconut beetle (B. longissima) was recorded as a new pest in Cambodia. The first infestations were recorded in an area near the Vietnamese border, especially young coconut plantations, which had introduced seedlings from Viet Nam. Owing to the lack of expertise and experience on this new invasive alien species, within two years it had spread over the whole country. This new threat caused significant damage to coconut trees (on average 74 percent of coconut palms were attacked, resulting in mortality of 21 percent). To combat this problem, the Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Land Improvement (DAALI) of the Ministry of
Deputy Director, Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Land Improvement, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries; e-mail: vanhan@mobitel.com.kh; tel: (855) 12818216; fax: (855)23 216655


Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries took appropriate action (phytosanitary measures, pest outbreak intervention via insecticide and extension on control measures) to control and reduce the pests spread. Unfortunately, the beetle is still established and inflicting significant damage in Cambodia. The losses induced by this invasion have affected Cambodian farmers. Assistance from other countries in the region with experience in B. longissima attack and FAO support were needed for successful control of the pest.

Cambodia is located in Southern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Viet Nam and Lao PDR (Figure 1). The estimated GDP rate in 2003 was 5.5 percent. Agriculture accounted for 30 percent and employed 75 percent of the workforce. Rice production (GDP 13 percent) occupies 91 percent of the cropped area. Industry and services constitute 40 and 30 percent of the GDP respectively. Rice is the main crop in Cambodia and is grown in all provinces. In 2003/2004, the total rice-cultivated areas were 2 315 853 hectares but because of drought only 4 710 957 tonnes were harvested.

Coconut beetle management in Cambodia


Figure 1. Map of the Kingdom of Cambodia In Cambodia, there has been no large-scale commercial cultivation of coconut palms or coconut industry and there are no data on coconut production. Coconut palms are the main feature of family gardens and green or mature coconuts provide regular income. Coconuts are used for their juice when green and when they have matured their milk is used for flavouring food. Coconut palm plantations are developing in some provinces of the northeast, such are Rattanac Kiri and Mundul Kiri and in the southwest (Kampong Speu, Kampot, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong). There are no clear data on coconut production and it is difficult to calculate the production area, but according to the results of a primary survey conducted in 2004 by the Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Inspection Office (PPPIO) there are at least 12 million coconut palms in Cambodia. The biggest production areas are Kampot


Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

Province (2 699 000 palms), Kampong Speu (2 536 000 palms), Sihanoukville (2 404 000 palms) and Rattanac Kiri (1 864 000 palms) (Table 1). Table 1. Distribution of coconut palms in Cambodia
Provinces/cities Banteay Mean Chey Battambang Kampong Cham Kampong Chhnang Kampong Speu Kampong Thom Kampot Kandal Koh Kong Kratie Mondulkiri Phnom Penh City No. of palms 43 000 101 000 148 000 563 000 2 536 000 93 000 2 699 000 212 000 688 000 101 000 41 000 n.a. Provinces/cities Preah Vihear Prey Veng Pursat Rotanakiri Siem Reap Preah Sihanouk Town Stueng Treng Svay Rieng Takeo Otdar Mean Chey Kep Town Pailin Town No. of palms 39 000 39 000 215 000 1 864 000 101 000 2 404 000 103 000 33 000 290 000 24 000 n.a. n.a.

Total: 12 337 000 Source: Department of Agronomy and Agricultural Land Improvement (DAALI), 2004/ MAFF (n.a. = not available)

Brief overview of coconut pests in Cambodia

Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros L.) Coconut pests in Cambodia have yet to be studied scientifically, but farmers are well acquainted with the rhinoceros beetle as a pest that attacks their coconut palms.

Coconut beetle management in Cambodia


Coconut beetle (Brontispa longissima) The coconut beetle is one of the most damaging pests of coconut and a range of ornamental palm species. Both larvae and adults feed on the tissues of developing, unopened leaves. The beetle can cause significant production losses, and high infestation levels may result in palm death. Coconut beetle is most likely indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. There is no record of its existence in Southeast Asia before the latter half of the twentieth century, when it was probably introduced into southern Viet Nam through the importation of ornamental palms. Currently Brontispa has established and is inflicting significant damage in numerous Southeast Asian countries, most notably in Viet Nam, Southern China and Thailand, which have significant coconut industries. The pest has also been confirmed in Singapore, Lao PDR and in late 2001 was recorded as a new pest of coconut palm in Cambodia. In December 2001, the PPIO received a report on strangled coconut disease from Mundul Kiri Province, on the border of Viet Nam, where coconut plantations were expanding. Inspection revealed the spread of coconut beetle on coconut palms throughout the province. Farmers did not initiate control measures, because they believed the damage was caused by drought and climatic conditions. The pest was probably introduced into this province through the import of infested coconut seedlings and ornamental palms and could also have arrived via natural transboundary movement from Viet Nam. Consequently, DAALI conducted a survey on the distribution of coconut beetle in the whole country. However, owing to lack of expertise and financial constraints, this primary survey took more than two years. On an average 74 percent of coconut palms had been attacked nationwide resulting in death of 21 percent of palms.


Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

At the beginning of 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) advised the Provincial/Municipal Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PDAFF and MDAFF) and Provincial/Municipal Department of Agricultural Extension (PDAE and MDAE) to take the following measures to combat the spread of coconut beetle outbreaks with technical guidance from DAALI. Phytosanitary measures Reduce spread potential from one region to another by controlling the movement of coconut seedlings, coconut leaves (and items made from them), ornamental and other palms from infested areas. Raise national awareness on the pest and the danger of facilitating the beetles arrival in new areas (Figure 1). Coconut beetle outbreak intervention Owing to inexperience, the DAALI intervention team decided to use chemicals to disinfect heavily infected areas and to control the beetles spread. A soluble powder of Cartap or Nerestoxin packed in tissue bags of 30 g were placed on the top of the young palms (shorter than 2.5 m) (Figure 2). One bag was put into the leaf base around the first unopened leaves, and applied again within 20 to 30 days. For young palms, 30 - 40 g of granulated carbofuran 3G or diazinon 10G, was placed on the top of each tree either directly or packed inside tissue bags.

Coconut beetle management in Cambodia


Figure 1. Raising national awareness on the coconut beetle

Figure 2. Placing bags of insecticide on top of the coconut palms


Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

For mature coconut palms, Actara 25WG (thiamethoxam) was injected into the trunk at 1 g/palm; this afforded 100 percent control for up to 120 days and no residue was found in coconut milk at seven days after treatment (detection limit 0.01ug/ml) (Figure 3). This treatment is more popular with Cambodian farmers, because the danger of climbing the palms and pollution of the environment are avoided. Extension on coconut beetle control Extension activities on coconut beetle control were conducted by the DAALI intervention team in collaboration with the PDAFF or MDAFF (Figure 4 & 5). Field-level training was conducted at the same time as demonstration. Twenty to 30 farmers in infested areas were invited to the training to discuss the pests spread, study the beetles morphology and biology, raise awareness on control methods, analyse the efficacy of botanical insecticide available in the area and learn safe and responsible measures for pesticide use.

Figure 3. Injecting Actara into a trunk

Coconut beetle management in Cambodia


Figures 4 & 5. Extract of Neem leaves and extension activities for coconut beetle control DAALI pamphlets on the coconut beetle and control measures were distributed to the Farmer Field School and DAALI intervention activities were subsequently monitored by associated staff.

Currently B. longissima is established and inflicting significant damage in Cambodia. The losses caused by this invasion are affecting Cambodian farmers. Chemical control measures have proven inadequate to control the beetles spread. In addition to the high and


Coconut beetle management in Cambodia

often prohibitive economic costs, the method is often cumbersome since the insecticide is to be introduced into all the palm crowns. Owing to internal inexperience on coconut beetle control, efforts were unsuccessful. Assistance from other countries in the region with experience in B. longissima attack and FAO support were needed for successful control of the pest.


Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China: assessment of issues, new developments and future plans
Jian Guo

Brontispa longissima is the most serious pest of coconut palms in Hainan where 11 species of palms have been attacked. When the beetle was first found, many quarantine measures were taken. The affected palms were cut down and burned, broad spectrum insecticides were screened and insecticide bags were inserted at the bases of the unopened leaves. A 3-kilometre buffer zone was established to prevent further spread. Traditional chemical control measures were used against the pest from 2002 to 2005. The treatments depressed the population of the beetle in the field and reduced the dispersal rate. About one million palms have since recovered. Two biological agents, a parasitoid (Tetrastichus brontispae) and an entomo-pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium anisopliae) have been tested successfully. The search for a synthetic mixture with the smallest possible number of constituents that possess the same attractant as fresh coconut leaves for Brontispa longissima and the development of this synthetic multicomponent is desirable and could play a role in biological plant protection.

Vice Director General, Haikou Forestry Administration, Hainan Province, PR China 570125.


Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China

Hainan Island is the second largest island in China; it lies between latitudes 1810 to 2010 N and longitudes10837 to 11103 E, with a land area of 33 900 square kilometres. The mean temperature ranges from 23.4 to 26.5C; the highest temperature has been recorded at 40C and the lowest at 6C. Mean annual precipitation is 2 412.3 mm and relative humidity ranges from 50 to 95 percent. Coconut palms play an important role in the economy of Hainan Province, directly by providing food and income from coconut products, and indirectly as important features of the landscape, where tourism is a major component in the economy. Coconut palms are planted across the island both as economic and ornamental plants. The palms are traditionally planted around villages, along roadsides and in cities; large plantations can be found in some locations. The coconut beetle, B. longissima Gestro is the most serious pest of coconut palms in Hainan. The larvae and the adults feed on the tender leaf tissues of the developing and unopened leaves of the coconut palm. If the young palms are attacked by the beetle, any prolonged attack will usually damage the palms severely, and in most cases the palms die. The coconut leaf beetle is native to Indonesia and has invaded many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It is believed that the beetle was introduced into Hainan Island around 2001 or 2002 through shipments of ornamental palms.

Outbreak of coconut leaf beetle in Hainan

Distribution In June 2002, coconut leaf beetles were found in Haikou and Sanya cities for the first time. Surveys estimated that the beetles affected about 31 000 coconut palms over about 6 700 hectares. Since then, the

Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China


beetle has spread to many nearby counties, although natural barriers such as mountain ranges, wide expanses of croplands and large lakes may have slowed down its natural dispersal; however the beetle can travel long distances by various means of transportation. By June 2003 the beetles were found in 11 counties; the epidemic covered about 30 000 hectares and 604 000 coconut palms were infected. In December 2004 the number of infected counties increased to 16, encompassing 390 000 hectares and 1 820 000 coconut palms were infected. Reports showed that the beetles were also found in Taiwan, Hongkong and Guangdong. Damage Both adults and larvae live and feed on young unfolded coconut leaflets. They remove strips of tissue from both sides of the leaves, and the resulting small brown patches of varying sizes and light brown streaks can be found in the damaged leaf. The streaks are typically parallel to the mid-rib. Later, these feeding lines mingle with each other so that the remaining tissues dry up and rot; the brown leaves then shrivel and curl and this gives the attacked palm a scorched appearance. If the attack lasts a little longer, the palm may die. In Hainan Province, 11 species of palms have been attacked. The preferred host plant is C. nucifera. Currently, thousands of coconut palms have been destroyed by the beetles. Control measures When the coconut leaf beetle was first detected in Hainan, the State Forestry Administration of China organized a joint effort to deal with the outbreak. Subsequently, the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Forestry Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences joined the battle. A series of studies were carried out on B. longissima, including biological characteristics, chemical control, biological control and monitoring of development.


Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China

The developmental threshold temperature and effective cumulative temperature of coconut leaf beetle are 11.08 and 96.2C respectively. Temperatures between 24 and 28C are favourable for the growth of the beetle. Royal palm (Roystonea regia) and coconut were its preferred hosts, followed by Livistona chinensis and oil palm. In Hainan, there are ants and parasitic acarids, but no other parasitic natural enemies. Beetles killed by Green Muscardine Fungus have been found in the field. Quarantine measures When the coconut leaf beetle was first found in Haikou in 2002, many quarantine measures were taken. The affected palms were cut down and burned, broad spectrum insecticides were screened and insecticide bags were inserted at the bases of the unopened leaves. A 3-kilometre buffer zone was established to prevent further spread. Transporting palms from other provinces to Hainan, or between counties in Hainan, was strictly forbidden. Check points were established to enforce this regulation. An epidemic survey was started immediately and plots were established where highly susceptible hosts were planted. Regular surveys were carried out. A reporting mechanism was established for immediate action and its telephone number was made public; a manual on how to control the beetle was developed and distributed to the public. Any beetle sighting could be reported immediately. A DVD about the coconut leaf beetle was made; it was broadcast by television stations and played on long-distance buses. Chemical applications Initially, insecticides were used to control the pest. Traditional chemical control measures were adopted from June 2002 till the end of 2003. Broad spectrum insecticides, such as imidacloprid, cypermethrin, deltamethrin and matridine, were applied by spraying at intervals of three to four weeks. All of these treatments depressed the population of the beetle in the field and reduced the dispersal rate.

Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China


From the end of 2003 to January 2005 a new powdered pesticide, developed by South China Agriculture University, was introduced. The powder was put into bags which released slowly with rainfall. These tea bags were inserted at the base of the unopened leaf. If the bag was placed in the right spot, it would be effective for five to six months. Currently, two million tea bags have been applied and about one million palms have since recovered from the damage. Biological control Biological control via parasitoids, predators and entomo-pathogenic fungus cannot eliminate the pest totally but maintain the natural balance by keeping the pest population below the economic threshold level. In China, two biological agents, a parasitoid and entomopathogenic fungus, have been tested against the pest promising results have been obtained and used in the field on Hainan Island. Parasitoid Asecodes hispinarum China organized experts to visit Viet Nam in December 2003 to study coconut beetle control with A. hispinarum. Subsequently, A. hispinarum was released in the north (Haikou), the south (Sanya) and the east (Qionghai) of the island from August 2004 onwards after a safety evaluation indicated that it was not a threat to other species. A primary survey showed that the population of the coconut leaf beetle had decreased; six months later the infested palms in Haikou had recovered noticeably, but at another release site, the expected results were not manifested. Recently increasing evidence indicates that the successful release of the parasitoid depends on many factors, inter alia temperature, humidity, the environment, pesticide used by the farmers and wind. The techniques for the mass-rearing of parasitoids have been mastered by Chinese scientists. Factories now produce 50 000 to 80 000 insects per day.


Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China

Parasitoid Tetrastichus brontispae Another parasitoid was introduced to Hainan from Taiwan Province of China in October and November 2004. This parasitoid was bred under isolated conditions in the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences. The safety evaluation will be completed by early 2005. If the parasitoid passes the safety evaluation, it will be released into the field immediately. Entomo-pathogenic Green Muscardine Fungus (Metarhizium anisopliae) A total of 11 strains of Green Muscardine Fungus were screened, of which ten strains were used for field trails in Haikou. Field trials revealed that two strains infected the beetle quickly with high mortality rates. Palms recovered when many beetles died in the field after formulations containing these two strains were sprayed. However, microbial control faced two problems: (1) the new formulations need to be screened to suit the climatic conditions in South China, especially in the south of Hainan Province; (2) to develop low-cost spraying equipment that can deliver the bioinsecticide to the tall palms. Attractants The preference of B. longissima for certain palms suggests that some of the emitted plant odours are attracting the coconut leaf beetles. Investigations on the chemical composition of the volatiles emitted by fresh, tender coconut leaves and the responses of the beetle have been conducted. Volatiles emitted by coconut leaves were collected by a mend distillation-concentrate method and analysed by gas chromatographymass spectrometry. The laboratory bioassays proved that B. longissima can be attracted by coconut leaf odours. No significant differences in response were evident between males and females both in electro-anetrogrogic and laboratory bioassays. Identification of the host volatiles of the fresh coconut young leaves and the bioassays are the first major breakthrough in understanding the

Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China


host-finding behaviour of B. longissima. The results of this work show that the beetle has high olfactory sensitivity to the host plant. Therefore host volatiles are of paramount interest as potential attractants. The next step is to search for a synthetic mixture with the smallest possible number of constituents that possesses the same attractant as fresh coconut leaves for B. longissima in laboratory bioassays and field traps. The development of this synthetic multicomponent is desirable and could play a role in biological plant protection.

Problems and future plans

In the battle against coconut leaf beetles, a number of technical issues need to be addressed: 1) Manufacturing artificial food for coconut leaf beetle needs to be mastered. 2) Lowering the cost of pesticide application. To quickly depress the population of the pest, applications of tea bags and Green Muscardine Fungus in coconut palms are two very effective methods. However they require applications near the crown, and as the palms are very tall, workers would demand higher wages for these dangerous tasks. Therefore spraying equipment needs to be developed that can deliver bioinsecticide to the crowns of tall coconut palms to lower application costs. 3) More stable Green Muscardine Fungus to suit the climatic conditions in south China is needed. 4) How to establish parasitoid populations in the field quickly? In order to establish a population in Haikou, the parasitoids were released in the same location five times. More than two million parasitoids were released, and six months later, the affected coconut palms had noticeably recovered. The parasitized larvae could be found 4 - 5 kilometres from the release site.


Coconut beetle management in Hainan Island, China

5) Attractants could be developed to monitor and detect the coconut leaf beetle; bio-insecticide could then be used to control its spread.

Proposed cooperation
Improving information sharing as the coconut leaf beetles have become one of the most important pests in the AsiaPacific region; information should be shared among the affected countries to achieve better control. Sourcing of financial and technical assistance for seriously affected countries from international organizations or developed countries. More collaboration among affected countries is required to develop effective short- and long-term control measures. Developing monitoring and detection technologies to guard against the outbreak of forest invasive species. Establishing flawless and strict plant quarantine laws. Providing training courses for technical staff and acquiring essential equipment to stop the invasion of forest invasive species.


Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia

A. Sivapragasam and Loke Wai Hong

Identification of P. reichei which infests the coconut palms of Malaysia is clarified and its history and biology are elaborated. Continuous hot weather and the consequential low natural enemy populations are cited as factors that lead to outbreaks. Control measures (cultural practices, insecticides and natural enemies) are reviewed.

Numerous insect pests infest the coconut palm, Cocos nucifera L. at all stages of its growth in Malaysia. Approximately 184 insects have been recorded, excluding those infesting copra, only a few are key pests of perennial importance. These include the rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros and the red stripe weevil, Rhynchophorus vulneratus. Some chrysomelids (hispids) are sporadic but important pests, such as the two-coloured coconut leaf beetle (B. longissima), Plesispa reichei (Chapuis) and the coconut leafminer, Promecotheca cumingii (Baly) (syn. P. nuciferae). Of the latter, P. cumingii is a true leafminer whereas P. reichei feeds on the surface of the leaves. This paper provides an informational review on Plesispa spp. with specific reference to P. reichei.

Respectively, Rice and Industrial Crops Center, MARDI, G.P.O. Box 12301, 50774, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and CAB International SEA Regional Center, P.O. Box 210, 43409, UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia


Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia

Plesispa spp.: historical perspectives

The first probable reference to P. reichei in Malaysia is in a report of the Director of Agriculture for 1912 that cites collection from a coconut palm in Johore. Subsequently, it was reported as a minor pest in other states Selangor and Perak. The first major outbreak occurred in 1916 in an estate where 385 000 larvae and adults were collected from 500 acres of 12-month-old palms. Baker (1918) and later Corbett (1932) indicated that P. reichei had been erroneously called Bronthispa (sic) froggatti in Malayan entomological literature (see Richards 1917). Another species of Plesispa was collected by Corbett in 1921 near Malacca from the nipah palm (Nipah fruticans) and was named P. nipae Maulik (commonly known as the nipah hispid). The damage caused by this insect to the nipah palm was similar to that caused by P. reichei (commonly known as the coconut hispid) on coconut palms. Further, the two species of Plesispa had a similar characteristic as their larvae fed on the surface of the leaves. However, the eggs of P. nipae are laid in groups whilst those of the coconut hispid are laid singly. Both species differed in colour; the prothorax of P. reichei is yellowish while that of P. nipae is reddish (Corbett 1932).

Identification of Plesispa and Brontispa

Recently, there has been some confusion about the identification of Plesispa and Brontispa (see Figure 1a-c) especially when a recent report from a meeting illustrated B. longissima as shown in Figure 1c. It is hoped the following descriptions of the species will help to clarify correct identification.

Expert consultation on coconut beetle outbreak in APPPC member countries; FAO RAP Publication 2004/29

Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia


Figure 1a. Plesispa reichei. The adult female, about 9.5 - 10 mm long, is flat with a dark brown head and antennae. The thorax is yellowish brown and the elytra are black (Yunus and Balasubramaniam 1970).

Figure 1b. Brontispa longissima (syn. Brontispa froggatti). Adult beetles are elongated, dorsoventrally flattened and 8 - 12 mm long. Some specimens have brown or black elytra, or have a spindle-shaped black marking on the elytral suture.

Figure 1c. Plesispa (or Brontispa?)


Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia

Geographical distribution
Generally, hispines have a limited distribution (Howard et al. 2001). The CABI pest distribution data suggest that Plesispa reichei is present in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Samoa.

Damage and economic importance

As early as 1923, Corbett (1923) noted P. reichei as a pest of seedlings in nurseries and young plants in the field up to two or three years of age. Both the larval and adult stages feed between the closely appressed leaflets of the young unfolded fronds (and thus are well concealed) consuming the upper and lower surfaces of the tender partially folded leaves (Figure 2). The young leaves appear dessicated (Plate 2). Growth of seedling plants is often seriously retarded and if the attack is severe and of long duration, the plants may die. It is a major pest of coconut palm nurseries in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand (Howard et al. 2001). Field observations by the authors on infestations by adults and larvae indicated that the Yellow Dwarf variety was the least infested and the Malayan Talls were highly susceptible among the Malaysian varieties assessed. A major outbreak of P. reichei was reported in Singapore in early 1988 on coconut, Roystonea regia and R.. oleracea (Choo-Toh 1999). The pest situation was significantly bad enough to warrant a major intervention programme. Choo-Toh (1999) reported 12 species of palms attacked in Singapore of which C. nucifera, Veitchia merrilli (Becc.) H.E. Moore and R. oleracea were the most severely damaged.

Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia


Damage symptom by Plesispa

Figure 2. Damage by Plesispa on coconut

The adult female, which is about 10 mm in length, lays an average of 112 reddish-brown eggs during its life span and they hatch within 7 - 10 days (Figure 3a). Yunus and Balasubramaniam (1970) reported 5 - 10 days in Malaysia. The eggs are laid singly about 7 - 10 days after copulation. The flat and yellowish larva has 11 pairs of lateral projections (Figure 3b). It undergoes four instars and the larval period varies from 30 - 38 days with a mean of 33 days. In Malaysia, Yunus and Balasubramaniam (1970) reported 22 - 38 days. The flat and yellowish pupa is positioned with its ventral surface to the leaf and is capable of movement. The pupal period varies from 6 - 11 days with a mean of seven days. There are variations in the literature on the duration of the life cycle. Generally, it ranges from 43 - 59 days. Corbett (1932) indicated 40 - 64 days. The elytra of the adult beetle,


Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia

on emergence from the pupa are creamy white, but soon acquire their characteristic black colour with a brownish-orange head and thorax. The adult lives for about nine months. The male is about 8.5 mm in length. Adult beetles shun light and prefer dark places. According to Corbett (1923), the sex ratio is generally biased towards females.

Figure 3a. Plesispa eggs

Plate 3b. Plesispa larvae

Ecological factors
There is scant information on this pest possibly due to its sporadic occurrence. Prolonged drought as observed in Miri Sarawak (Megir

Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia


Gumbek 1999), continuous hot weather and the consequential low natural enemy populations are factors that lead to outbreaks (ChooToh 1999).

Control measures
Cultural practices: Control in nurseries includes hand-collection during low infestations. Besides cultural practices, such as cutting and burning of infested leaves, insecticides have been used. Insecticides: During severe infestations, insecticide applications are common. According to Megir Gumbek (1999) trunk injection with monocrotophos was effective in coconuts. The efficacy of foliar sprays of insecticides was highly dependent on the height of palms (Choo-Toh 1999), such sprays were generally more effective in shorter palms. Foliar spraying of dimethoate with other contact chemicals has been recommended for spraying palms shorter than 2.5 m (Choo-Toh 1999). Resistance of the pest to dimethoate was suggested when the pest re-appeared even after seven sprays. Besides foliar spraying, soil drenching of systemic insecticides, trunk injection with dimethoate and methamidophos and crown and soil application of carbofuran were also attempted. Crown application with carbofuran sachets produced the most convincing results, even for tall palms (Choo-Toh 1999). Of the insecticides tested, the mixture of chlopyrifos and cypermethrin (NurelleR) was effective against field populations of P. reichei infesting young coconut germplasm. Natural enemies: Despite their cryptic habits, the insect is attacked by a number of natural enemies that include many species of ants, dermapterans and parasitic hymenopterans. Endemic natural enemies tended to keep the populations of P. reichei in check under natural conditions. The natural enemies recorded for the species include two species of encyrtids, Ooencyrtus podontieae and Ooencyrtus sp. and a trichogrammatid, Haeckeliona brontispae which attacks the eggs. The parasitoid, Tetrastichus brontispae parasitizes the larvae and the pupae of P. reichei and P. nipae as well as B. longissima. According to CABI records, natural enemies include Hispidophila brontispae,


Plesispa reichei: a pest of increasing importance in Malaysia

Ooencyrtus corbetti and Tetrastichus plesispae. In Malaysia, Corbett (1923) reported an egg parasite (O. podontiae). Parasites collected from both P. reichei and P. nipa, were able to manage the problem of the Mariana coconut beetle, Brontispa mariana Spaeth. in Saipan (Lange 1950).

Baker, C.F. 1918. Identity of a coconut hispid. Gdns Bull. Straits Settl., 2: 3. Choo-Toh, G.T. 1999. An outbreak of Plesispa reichei Chapuis on palms in Singapore. In Sivapragasam et al. eds. Proceedings of the 5th international conference on plant protection in the tropics, 15 - 18 March 1999, pp. 64 - 69.Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Corbett, G.H. 1923. Preliminary note on the two-colored coconut leaf beetle (Plesispa reichei). Chap. Malay. Agric. J., 11: 64 - 69. Corbett, G.H. 1932. Insects of coconuts in Malaya. General Series No. 10. Department of Agriculture, Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. Howard, F.W., Moore, D., Giblin-Davis, R.M. & Abad, R.G. 2001. Insects on palms. CABI Publishing. Lange, W.H. Jr. 1950. The biology of the Mariana coconut beetle, Brontispa mariana Spaeth. on Saipan, and the introduction of parasites from Malaya and Java for its control. Proc. Hawaii Ent. Soc., 14: 143 - 162. Megir Gumbek. 1999. Outbreak of coconut leaf miner, Promecotheca nuciferae in Sarawak. In Sivapragasam et al., eds. Proceedings of the 5th international conference on plant protection in the tropics, 15 - 18 March 1999, pp. 390 - 393. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Richards, P.B. 1917. The diseases and pests of the coconut palm. Agric. Bull. F.M.S., 5: 327 - 337. Yunus, A. & Balasubramaniam, A. 1970. Major crop pests in Peninsular Malaysia. Bulletin No. 138, Agriculture Division, Ministry of Agriculture, p. 65.


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

A. Sivapragasam

Malaysian encounters with invasive alien species (IAS) are described. There is still little information on how IAS have impacted on the endemic biodiversity and altered the structure and functions of the inherent ecosystems. There has also been no comprehensive or coordinated monitoring to properly document or catalogue introduced IAS. There are four options or steps for dealing with alien species: (1) prevention, (2) early detection, (3) eradication and (4) control. Details on how Malaysia has put these steps into practice are provided. Studies on the ecology and management of three recent invasive species of horticultural crops beet army worm, leafminers and the whiteflies complex are elaborated. Suggestions are given for further strengthening of national capacity to deal with invasive pest problems in the future.

There are many definitions of invasive alien species (IAS). The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has defined an alien species as a species, subspecies or lower taxon (includes any of its part that might survive and reproduce) introduced outside its natural past or present distribution (Roger 2003). It is invasive if it causes any form
Rice and Industrial Crops Center, MARDI, P.O. Box 12301, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail: sivasam@mardi.my


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

of damage. In the context of the CBD, it is a species that threatens biological diversity but in the broader context it has negative impacts in any areas such as agriculture, human development, human health as well as biodiversity (Roger 2003). The issues of IAS thus cut across a multisector dimension. The problem of insect pests, whether endemic or exotic, is irrevocably a major concern in agriculture. More recently, the IAS problem has acquired greater significance owing to global interest in biodiversity issues. The force behind IAS is driven largely by the apparent breakdown of biogeographical borders owing to increasing international trade and globalization exacerbated by modern modes of transportation that enhance the probability of biological invasions.

Pathways of invasions and significance

The biological process of colonization or invasion by alien organisms can be divided into four steps (Kiritani 1998): (i) Introduction, (ii) Establishment, (iii) Spread and (iv) Naturalization. The initiation of the process through the introduction of invasives can occur through: (i) Long distance migrations or movements (e.g. the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens in rice), (ii) transportation and (iii) human activities. With increased international travel, the movement and incidences of exotic species have increased in both number and variety. Of particular concern are agricultural products, especially fresh produce such as vegetables, ornamentals, stored grains and timber. Fortunately, the rates of successful introduction, colonization and subsequent naturalization of an invasive species in a new habitat are remarkably low. Environmental sieves and dispersal constraints, natural disasters and human interventions have considerable influence. For example, in the United Kingdom studies showed that only 0.53 percent of the 220 000 imported species became naturalized and not all of them were invasive (Crawley et al. 1996). Such low incidences of successful naturalization are attributable to the low base-rate probability of invasions (Williamson 1998).

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


Malaysias encounter with invasive species

By 1979, several serious IAS had reached Malaysia already and collectively impacted on its agricultural landscape and economy. Examples of such pests are given in Table 1. There is still little information on how the IAS have impacted on the endemic biodiversity and altered the structure and functions of the inherent ecosystems. There has also been no comprehensive or coordinated monitoring to properly document or catalogue introduced IAS. Table 1. Important IAS detected in Malaysia (Asna et al. 2001)
Crop Cocoa Vegetables Pest species Conopomorpha cramerella Chromatomyia horticola Spodoptera exigua Trialeurodes vaporariorum Cut flowers Turf Citrus Paddy Liriomyza huidobrensis Nematode, Meloidogyne graminis Nematode, Tylenchlus semipenetrans Golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata Echinochloa crusgalli *n.a. = not available Year recorded 1986 1986 1996 n.a*. 1991 1980 1996 1984 1979 Suspected country of origin Indonesia The Netherlands Thailand The Netherlands The Netherlands USA Indonesia Philippines Australia

Malaysia also monitors several other alien pests which are yet to be detected but are considered to be a threat to economic crops. These invasive pests include thrips species (Scirtothrips dorsalis, Chaetanaphothrips signipennis and Frankliniella bispinosa) for


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

vegetables and fruits; the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) and the San Jose Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus) for citrus; the larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus) for stored products and the palm weevil (Rhynchoporus palmarum) for oil palm (Asna et al. 2001). Malaysia has also been the source of invasives based on interceptions by importing countries. Some of the recent interceptions were: (i) Aquatic plants infested with the whitefly, Bemisi tabaci and the snail, Achatina fulica by France and Japan, respectively; (ii) Fresh chrysanthemums infested with thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis by Taiwan; and (iii) Carambola fruits infested with fruit flies by France.

Management of invasive insect pests

In Malaysia there are four options or steps for dealing with alien species (Wittenberg and Cock 2001): (1) prevention; (2) early detection; (3) eradication and (4) control. Four major programmes are implemented by the Department of Agriculture under the Malaysian Plant Quarantine Act to prevent the entry and spread of IAS: prevention, detection and monitoring, containment and eradication and control. Prevention and eradication are fraught with difficulties: prevention, because of the complexity of the problem facing the frontline quarantine service and the degree of vigilance required to filter invasives before they enter the country (see below); and eradication because of the exorbitant costs involved. In most cases, the invasives are detected only after they have entered the country. Thus, the management strategy centres around control to minimize further risks. Prevention Prevention is the first line of defense against any invasive pest. The Malaysian Plant Quarantine Act, 1976 (hereafter the Quarantine Act) and Plant Quarantine Regulation 1981 (hereafter the Quarantine Regulation) are the two laws that aim to prevent the entry and spread of noxious plants and plant pests that threaten agriculture. Besides

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


IAS, the Quarantine Act also has provision to control outbreaks of endemic pests. In regulating the IAS, the Quarantine Regulation has listed 240 species of insects, fungus, viruses and weeds that are prohibited from importation or possession. This List is gazetted in the Fourth Schedule of the Regulation. Thus, all goods that harbour pests in the List will be treated or destroyed immediately. The Quarantine Act and the Quarantine Regulation also have provision to contain, eradicate or control any dangerous pest, either foreign or endemic, found in the country. This provision allows the Department of Agriculture (DoA) to call relevant bodies or agencies to collaborate and enforce any action to eradicate or control a pest. However, despite vigilance, IAS still overcome quarantine barriers, as evidenced by the number of recent Malaysian interceptions (Table 1). In 2000, a total of 580 agricultural consignments with pests were intercepted. However, only 82 species of arthropods belonging to eight orders and 41 families were identified. Out of this total, three species (Trogoderma granarium, Ceratitis capitata and Diatrea sp.) were pests gazetted under the present quarantine act (Wan Normah and Asna 2001). The recent growth of the highland (temperate) horticultural industry has also been conducive towards the increase in the number of IAS, particularly greenhouse pests such as whiteflies and leafminers. Commercial activities enhance transnational spread. For example, Tan and Lim (1985) found that between 18.5 and 38.9 percent of English cabbage heads imported from Indonesia were infested. Detection Early detection of introductions and quick, coordinated response can eradicate or contain IAS at much lower cost than long-term control. Apart from inspection at entry points, there is no comprehensive national system for detecting incipient invasions of IAS. However, a few programmes are in place for rice, rubber and oil palm. The Pest Surveillance and Forecasting System was set up in 1979 in Peninsular Malaysia by the DoA to detect and monitor rice pests, particularly naturally invasive pests. Pests and crops are monitored regularly


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

through field scouting, light traps, net traps and mobile nurseries. For rubber and oil palm, the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) and Malaysian Oil Palm Board (MPOB) with the assistance of the DoA are carrying out a bi-annual national monitoring survey for early detection of dangerous pests of rubber and oil palm. Apart from these measures, invasive pests are also detected through normal agricultural extension activities and reports of pest incidence by the public. For monitoring, pheromone traps have been used for pests such as the beet armyworm, S. exigua and T. granarium. Eradication In the past, programmes were initiated to eradicate dangerous exotic pests and contingency plans were developed after the pests were detected. The eradication programme for Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) was unsuccessful as the pest had spread beyond control. The CPB is currently managed under the IPM approach. Another programme, targeting the khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) was successful as the beetle was only found in several isolated rice warehouses. The model emergency action programme of Ganapathi et al. (1992) entailed: (i) physical destruction of infested plant products and (ii) fumigation of products, warehouses or stored rooms with methyl bromide at 80g/m3 for 48 hours depending on the temperature or with phosphine at 2g/m3 for three days. The other chemical approach is spraying the warehouse and contaminated materials with chemical insecticides. Storing of the products below 9 percent moisture content or less was also effective. Otherwise, no other attempts have been made to eradicate any IAS, even though numerous incursions have taken place, because many of these pests (e.g. leafminers, whiteflies) were only detected when they were already widespread throughout the country. Control When an IAS appears to be permanently established and widespread, control is the most effective action to prevent their spread or lessen

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


their impacts. The IPM approach is recommended. At this stage, pest control is the responsibility of the farmers themselves or individual owners and government agencies provide advisory services and assistance to control the pests effectively. Experiences with diamondback moth, fruitflies, leafminers and whiteflies are notable examples.

Recent experiences with invasive insect pests

Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua Hubner The beet armyworm, a recently reported invasive pest in Malaysia (Palasubramaniam et al. 2000; Palasubramaniam and Sivapragasam 2001), is a subtropical and tropical species found in many tropical and temperate regions of the world. Spodoptera exigua has become an important pest of various economic crops in the last ten years in Malaysia and has caused extensive damage to crops such as onions, brinjal, legumes and crucifers. In the United States, where it is major pest for cotton, S. exigua is considered a migratory species originating in Southeast Asia. In the southern states such as Arizona, Georgia, Florida and Texas, it has become a very important pest causing millions of dollars of damage to cotton. It is suggested that for S. exigua, migration has evolved as a major component of its life history especially during its pre-oviposition period to allow for egg maturation. Thus, heavy infestations of S. exigua may occur suddenly owing to the migration of many adults. French (1969) and Mitchell (1979) reported moths capable of migrating over large distances in a single night when the weather is favourable. In Malaysia, it is interesting to note that before 1996, S. exigua was never reported as a pest, unlike its congeneric species S. litura. However, rather surprisingly, outbreaks of S. exigua began emerging in 1996 (Palasubramaniam et al. 2000). Migration of adults is a possibility based on the proximity of Malaysia to neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Myanmar where the pest is endemic and prevalent. The other possible reason could be through transnational commercial activities (Ng et al. 1999).


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

K u a la Te r la

T aiw an

Ag rise n se


Mean / trap




0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

S a m p lin g ti m e (M a ch -N o v. 2000) N o . o f m a l e s S . exig u a ca u g h t in p h e ro m o n e tra p s

Figure 1. Trapping study of S. exigua using pheromone traps in Kuala Terla The basis for long distance flights and large-scale dispersal of moths could be derived from pheromone trap catches. Trapping studies were conducted in the highlands of Malaysia (Kuala Terla) with two types of pheromones (from Taiwan and Agrisense, UK) to ascertain the dynamics of adult S. exigua populations in the field (Figure 1). Despite the continually high number of males caught in the traps, random sampling of host plants around the trap area revealed only a very few S. exigua larvae. The sampling of weeds around the trap area also revealed the absence of larvae; the placing of emergence cages did not trap any adults since S. exigua pupates in the soil. The latter experiments implied that the adults captured in the traps were not local and could have been attracted to the traps from outside the area. Long distance flight activity has been reported as a common phenomenon in S. exigua as part of its life history strategy to allow for egg maturation.

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


Ecological and economic impact Spodoptera exigua is currently a major pest for vegetables. It is very difficult to control as it has developed resistance to most insecticides. The invasive nature of S. exigua has shifted the focus from other endemic pests of vegetables. In the lowlands of Malaysia, damage assessment results showed that damage by this pest was almost 100 percent in some crops. Almost all types of vegetable crops grown were found to be infested with this pest. Chilli and shallot were the most seriously affected crops and losses were significant. Management options Farmers currently use a range of insecticides to control S. exigua. The cost is currently very high and in instances of heavy damage some farmers decided to abandon the crops for that season. Some farmers also claimed that despite frequent applications of insecticides, they can only obtain less than one-half of the expected crop yield. Many farmers still use light traps (12 watt blueblack light bulb) to capture adults. However, unlike pheromones, low catches were experienced. The effect of various commercial Bacillus thuringiensis products on S. exigua was evaluated in the laboratory (Figure 2). Amongst the biopesticides tested, ProtectR (Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai) gave the highest mortality of the larvae. Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai (ProtectR) was also very effective against the fourth instar of S. exigua.


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

C um ulative m ortality (% ) of 5 day old Spodoptera exigua using various B acillus thuringiensis products @ 120h
120 100 % mortality of S. exigua 80 60 40 20 0 P rotect C rym ax A ztron X entari Florbac Turex Lepinox Thuricide D ipel B iobit B .t. P roducts

Figure 2. Cumulative mortality of 5-day-old S. exigua using B. thuringiensis products Natural enemies play a key role in suppressing S. exigua populations (Sivapragasam et al. 2001). In Malaysia, two larval parasitoid species were bred from field-collected samples: the braconid, Microplitis manilae and the tachinid, Peribaea orbata. The parasitization levels of these parasitoids, especially P. orbata, was as high as 45 percent in the field. Studies in the laboratory suggested the potential of Trichogrammatoidea bactrae fumata to parasitize eggs of S. exigua. However, the generalist nature of these parasitoids limits them as effective biological control agents. Generalist predators too play an important role contributing to the mortality of S. exigua in the field as shown by recent predator-exclusion studies. Survival was highest in caged cabbage plants (11.3 percent) compared to uncaged plants (3.8 percent). The major predators in the field were the red ant, Solenopsis sp. and some species of birds. Other potential predators include the pentatomid bug, Cantheconidea furcellata, reduviids, Cosmolestis picticeps and Rhinocoris flavipes, and the mirid, Cyrtopeltis tenius.

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


Agromyzid leafminers
Agromyzid leafminers are pests of economic importance for several vegetables and ornamentals both in temperate and tropical regions. In Malaysia, the predominant species found infesting vegetables such as sugar peas and crucifers prior to the 1990s were Chromatomyia (Phytomyza) horticola in the highlands and Liriomyza brassicae in the lowlands (Ooi 1979; Sivapragasam et al. 1992). However, in the mid1990s, various other species of Liriomyza such as L. huidobrensis in the highlands and L. sativae in the lowlands were reported (Sivapragasam and Syed 1999). Liriomyza spp. are native to the Americas (possibly Nearctic and Neotropical in origin) and are major pests on vegetables such as tomatoes and celery. It is believed that the introductions of temperate cut flower planting materials from Europe could have introduced the leafminers into the Cameron Highlands (Myint 1997). This situation is mirrored in other countries like Japan where the distribution of leafminers has been attributed largely to the failure of quarantine procedures to detect and prevent its entry into the country. Ecological and economic impact Leafminers are major pests of vegetables and ornamental plants in the Cameron Highlands. Yield losses of up to 30 percent were reported on most vegetables crops such as sugar peas, tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, capsicum and french beans if no control measures were undertaken. On chrysanthemums, farmers also reported losses of up to 50 percent due to leafminer infestation, particularly by C. horticola (Sivapragasam and Syed 1999). About 17 percent of the farmers abandoned vegetable cultivation because of these invasive pests. Management options Insecticides are generally used to control outbreaks followed by the use of yellow sticky traps. Under natural conditions, leafminers are attacked by a suite of parasitoids (Myint 1997; Sivapragasam and Syed 1999; Sivapragasam et al. 1995a; Sivapragasam et al. 1999a).


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

However, the non-specificity of these parasitoids precludes them as effective biological control agents in the conventional sense. The IPM approach is currently used to manage leafminers in sugar peas (Sivapragasam et al. 1995b; Myint 1997) and chryanthemums (Sivapragasam et al. 1999b).

Two species of whiteflies were recently found in vegetables in Malaysia. The lowland species is the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) and the highland species is the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood). They are probably recent introductions from Europe through importation of ornamental plants (Syed et al. 2000). Another species of whitefly, the spiraling whitefly, Aleurodicus dispersus (Rusell) is endemic and found in several ornamental and fruit crops. Ecological and economic impact Recently, the whitefly infestation was serious, particularly for tomato, bell pepper and coyote; crop losses of up to 50 percent were reported. A high degree of insecticide resistance has already developed within many field populations of B. tabaci associated with agricultural crops (Martin 1999). The problem is further compounded by the ability of B. tabaci to transmit 60 different types of plant geminiviruses (Syed et al. 2000) and the presence of a new strain of B. tabaci, i.e. the B strain which has spread to most parts of the world. Bellows et al. (1994) described this strain as a new species, B. argentifolii, which is morphologically similar to B. tabaci. Since 1991, B. argentifolii (known as the silverleaf whitefly) has caused annual losses of US$500 million in the United States for various crops like cotton and crucifers. To date, in Malaysia, 21 different biotypes of B. tabaci have been observed based on allozyme patterns. The Malaysian population belongs to the Asia 2a group which has also been found in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, North India, Thailand and Bangladesh (Mohd. Roff, MARDI, pers. comm.).

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


Management options The main method of control is the use of pesticides but efficacy problems have already been manifested. A few predators have been recorded (Syed et al. 2000), viz., a mired bug, Macrolophus sp.; the green lace wing, Chrysopa sp. and a coccinellid, Delphastus sp. The parasitoid, Encarsia sp., was recovered from a few field specimens. Currently, the IPM approach is been investigated.

Based on the evidence to date, there are many gaps and needs in the current management strategy against invasives. There are many areas that need to be strengthened to manage the problem effectively. Against the backdrop of resource limitations, some of the urgent areas that need to be pursued in future are:

Review and update existing list (Fourth Schedule) of prohibited species with proper pest risk analysis (PRA) With the exception of PRA for key economic pests such as the South American Leaf Blight problem in rubber, there is no specific protocol to date for invasive insect pests. The PRA exercise will identify properly potential dangerous foreign species, economic consequences and their potential biological control agents. The review should assess their pathways of introduction and probability of entry, establishment and spread. In addition, the PRA must include control measures to prevent their introduction, establishment and spread. Review, update and amend the existing sanitary and phytosanitary measures The present plant quarantine regulations do not require any import permit for any importation of plants or plant parts for consumption, medicinal, processing or manufacturing purposes and processed


Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems

agricultural products. Their importation is only subjected to inspection at the entry point upon arrival. This loophole increases the possibility of introduction of exotic pests as inspection at the entry point is limited in effectiveness and mandatory treatment could not be imposed on high risk commodities before entry. Build R&D capacities and strengthen competencies There is an urgent need for human resource development in specific fields such as PRA, inspection, detection, identification, sampling techniques and treatment. Highly trained and efficient quarantine personnel, particularly those working at entry points, will be able to contribute to preventing the entry of exotic pests into the country. There is need for competencies in conducting PRA and impact assessment studies, especially in the context of biodiversity. Increase public awareness on problems of invasives Increased awareness reduces the risk of introduction. Therefore, cooperation from the public is required as part of the holistic management strategy to deal with invasives. The public has to be informed or educated about the danger of alien species, to recognize the major alien invasive species and report to authorities accordingly when they suspect their presence. Impact assessment studies could contribute towards realizing the potential dangers of invasives on the local ecosystems.

Acknowledgements The author is grateful to the Director-General of MARDI and the Director of the Rice and Industrial Crop Center, MARDI for their permission to participate in and present this paper. The support and invitation by APFISN, FAO, USDA Forest Service and APAFRI is gratefully acknowledged.

Experiences in managing invasive alien insect species in agro-ecosystems


Asna, B.O., Mazlan, S. & Ho, H.L. 2001. Plant quarantine regulations and issues pertaining to the prevention of invasive arthropod pests. Paper presented at the Seminar on Invasive Arthropod Pests of Vegetables and Economic Food Crops, Kuala Lumpur, 13 - 14 March, 2001. Bellows, T.S. Jr., Perring, T.M., Gill, R.J. & Headrick, D.H. 1994. Description of a species of Bemisia (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 87 (20): 195 - 206. Crawley, M.J., Harvey, P.H. & Purvis, A. 1996. Comparative ecology of the native and alien floras of the British Isles. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London), B351: 1251 - 1259. French, R.A. 1969. Migration of Laphygma exigua (Hubner) to the British Isles in relation to large scale weather systems. J. Anim. Ecol., 38: 199 - 10. Ganapathi, A., Durai, P.S.S. & Sastroutomo, S.S. 1992. PLANTIs current and future thrusts on plant quarantine research and development. In P.L. Manalo et al., eds. Proceedings of the international plant quarantine congress, 1991 on plant quarantine in the 90s. ASEAN PLANTI. Kiritani, K. 1998. Formation of exotic insect fauna in Japan. In E. Yano, M. Matsuo, M. Shiyomi and D.A. Andow, eds. Biological invasions of ecosystem by pests and beneficial organisms, pp. 49 - 65. Tsukuba, Japan, National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences. Martin, J.H. 1999. The whitefly fauna of Australia (Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodidae), a taxonomic account and identification guide. CSIRO Entomology Technical paper No. 38, 197 pp. Mitchell, E.R. 1979. Migration of Spodoptera exigua and S. frugiperda C North American style. In Movement of highly mobile insects. Concepts and methodology in research, pp. 386 - 393. Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina State University. Myint, T. 1997. Ecology and control of leafminers (Diptera: Agromyzidae) on sugarpeas in Cameron Highlands. PhD thesis


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submitted to University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. Ng, K.Y., Jamaludin, S. & Mohamed Roff, M.N. 1999. Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua Hubner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and its control in Malaysia. In Mohamed et al. (compiled). Proc. national horticultural conference 99, pp. 607 - 611. Ooi, A.C.P. 1979. An ecological study of the diamondback moth in Cameron Highlands and its possible biological control with introduced parasites. University of Malaya (MSc thesis). Palasubramaniam, K. & Sivapragasam, A. 2000. The beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua: its incidence and control measures used by vegetable farmers in Peninsular Malaysia. Paper presented at the Plant Resource Management Conference, 23 - 24 November, 2000. Organized by MAPPS, SIAS and DOE, Sarawak. Palasubramaniam, K. Thiagarajan, R. & Asna, B.O. 2000. Status of the beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) in Peninsular Malaysia. In S. Zakaria, eds. Proceedings of the plant health seminar 2000, 123 - 126. Malaysian Plant Protection Society. Roger, D. 2003. Invasive alien species: Global perspectives. In Proceedings of the national workshop on invasive alien species, 20 October 2003, Kuala Lumpur. Organized by the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia in collaboration with ASEANET and CAB International SEA Regional Office. Sivapragasam, A. & Syed, A.R. 1999. The problem and management of leafminers on vegetables in Malaysia. Paper presented at the CABI-FAO Workshop on Leafminers of Vegetables in South East Asia, 2 - 5 February, 1999. Sivapragasam, A., Syed, A.R. & Loke, W.H. 1992. The leafminer, Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau) and its increasing menace to farmers in Cameron Highlands. MAPPS Newsletter, 16 (3): 19 - 20. Sivapragasam, A., Loke, W.H., Syed, A.R. & Ruwaidah, M. 1995a. Dipteran leafminers on highland crops of Malaysia and an integrated approach towards their management. In European Journal of Plant Pathology, XIII International Plant Protection Congress, 2-7 July, 1995. The Hague, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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Sivapragasam, A., Loke, W.H., Syed, A.R. & Ruwaidah, M. 1995b. Agromyzid leafminers and their parasitoids on some ornamentals in Cameron Highlands. In H. Zaharah et al., eds. Proceedings of national seminar and exhibition on integrated production of temperate cut flowers, 27-30 June, 1995, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Sivapragasam, A., Syed, A.R., La Salle, J. & Ruwaida, M. 1999a. Parasitoids of invasive agromyzid leafminers on vegetables in Peninsular Malaysia. In W.H. Loke, et al., eds. Proceedings of the symposium on biological control in the tropics. Malaysia, CAB International South East Asia Regional Center. Sivapragasam, A., Loke, W.H. & Ruwaida, M. 1999b. A strategy towards managing the agromyzid leafminer Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau) on chrysanthemums through the selective use of insecticides. In Sivapragasam et al., eds. Proceedings of the 5th international conference on plant protection in the tropics, 15-18 March, 1999, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 93 - 95. Sivapragasam, A., Asna, B.O., Palasubramaniam, K. & Megir, G. 2001. Terminal report of PF project on Spodoptera with emphasis on S. exigua in Malaysia presented at a workshop on Spodoptera in Southeast Asia, 14 - 16 March, 2001, The Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (mimeo). Syed, A.R., Sivapragasam, A., Loke, W.H. & Mohd. Roff, M.N. 2000. Whiteflies infesting vegetables in Malaysia. In Proceedings of the plant resource management seminar. Organized by MAPPS, DoA Sarawak and SIAS. Tan, C.L. & Lim, G.S. 1985. Transnational movement of insect pests (and other invertebrates) via imported cabbages. In K.G. Singh and Paul L. Manalo, eds. Proceedings of the regional conference on plant quarantine support for agricultural development. Published by ASEAN PLANTI, Malaysia. Wan Normah, W.I. & Asna, B.O. 2001. Interception and contingency plans on invasive pests. Paper presented at the Seminar on Invasive Arthropod Pests of Vegetables and Economic Food Crops, Kuala Lumpur, 1314 March, 2001.


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Williamson, M.H. 1998. Measuring the impact of plant invaders in Britain. In U. Starfinger, K.R. Edwards, I. Kowarik and M.H. Williamson, eds. Plant invasions: ecological mechanisms and human responses, pp. 5768. Leiden, Backhuys Publishers. Wittenberg, R. & Cock, M.J.W. 2001. Invasive alien species: A toolkit of best prevention and management practices. Wallingford, Oxon, UK, CABI.


Some introduced alien species in the Philippines and their effects on ecosystems
Monina Torres-Uriarte

In the Philippines, the number and proportion of introduced alien species are rising. Most of these species, especially tree species, are introduced for economic reasons and for forest rehabilitation purposes. Almost all of the ecosystems are affected. Invasive insect pests are associated with introduced tree species. Several activities have been undertaken, but much remains to be done. Research on the impact of these alien species on biodiversity, people and the economy is being undertaken. The most recent legislation passed in the country, Republic Act No. 9147 (The Wildlife Act) totally prohibits the introduction of alien species in protected and critical habitats.

One of the major threats to biodiversity, not only in the Philippines but also in ASEAN countries, is the introduction of alien species. Over the last 40 years, the rate and risks associated with alien species have increased enormously.

Assistant Director, Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources College, Los Baos, Laguna, Philippines 4031. Telefax: 6349 536 7746; e-mail: m.uriarte@arcbc.org/erdbdast@laguna.net Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Some introduced alien species in the Philippines

Alien species, as defined during the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), include any species that are introduced into new habitats by human intervention; usually they are invasive or aggressive. In most countries, the number and proportion of alien species are rising and their presence has a devastating effect on natural/endemic species. The threat to indigenous species posed by invasive alien species (IAS) is cited in Article 8h of the CBD: Prevent the introduction of, control, or eradicate those invasive alien species which threatens the ecosystem, habitat and species.

Introduced alien species and their effects on ecosystems

The Species Survival Commission of the IUCN reported that as competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites, alien species have invaded almost every type of native ecosystem and caused hundreds of extinctions. Accordingly, their impacts are immense and sometimes irreversible. The introduction of alien species relates to human interests. Most people introduce an alien species into a new habitat for economic reasons fish can generate excellent fish stocks; plants can provide food, fodder and raw materials for medicines; insects can enhance biological control. It is common knowledge that introduced species can cause, inter alia, displacement or destruction of indigenous species, pollution of the gene pool, loss of species diversity, disruption of energy and nutrient cycling and increased production costs as they may require high inputs. There are even cases of IAS triggering indigenous species to become harmful and invasive. Biological pollution reduces the diversity of plants and animals and increases their vulnerability to both native and exotic pests. This often

Some introduced alien species in the Philippines


leads to increased use of pesticides and insecticides that may impact on ecosystems negatively. The specific effects of some alien species introduced in the Philippines on forest ecosystems are presented in Table 1. Table 1. Effects on forest ecosystems of some alien species introduced in the Philippines Alien species Tree species and insect pests Gmelina arborea Acacia mangium Eucalyptus camaldulensis Swietenia microphylla Leucaena leucocephala Toona ciliata Invertebrates Big headed ant (Pheidole megacephalus) Displaced most invertebrate faunas; pest to agriculture as it harbours phytophagous insects that reduce crop productivity Invaded native communities and affected many or all of the animals and plants in the community; has fiery and painful stings; nests in the soil Introduced by the typhoon in 1980. Has affected almost all standing L. leucocephala plantations Host of Ozola minor, Attacus and Xyleutis spp. Host of Anoplophora luciphor Host of unidentified termite species Host of Zeuzera coffeae Host of Heteropsylla cubana Host of unidentified weevil Effects on the ecosystem

Fire ant (Solenopsis geminate)

Jumping plant lice (Heterophylla cubana)


Some introduced alien species in the Philippines

Alien species Invertebrates Leafminer (Liriomyza sp.)

Effects on the ecosystem Accidentally introduced with the importation of chrysanthemum: major pest of potato and ornamentals Affected vegetables and ornamentals. Accidentally introduced with the importation of ornamental kalanchoe in the 1970s Affects coconut in Northern Palawan. Accidentally introduced in 1990 with the importation of hybrid coconut planting materials Major problem for rice in Mindanao and Leyte. Introduced through vessels plying the route between the province of Palawan and countries south of the Philippines Accidentally introduced in the importation of potato planting materials. Heavily infesting potato farms in Benguet in Northern Philippines Ubiquitous house pest

Spiraling whitefly (Aleurodicus dispeures)

Mealy bug (Pseudococcus sp.)

Riceblack bug (Scontiniphora coarctata)

Potato cyst nematode

American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

Some introduced alien species in the Philippines


Action taken on introduced alien species

The Conference of Parties to the CBD urged parties to strengthen guiding principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of the impacts of alien species. The Philippines National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (NBSAP) formulated in 1995 recognized the threat posed by alien species. It did not actually include programmes to address the problem directly, but it discouraged the introduction of exotic tree species in critical habitats. The Republic Act No. 9147 provides for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and their habitats. Chapter III, Article 1 Section 13 Introduction of Exotic Wildlife states that no exotic species shall be introduced into the country unless clearance from the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) or the authorized representative is first obtained. In no case shall exotic species be introduced into protected areas and identified critical habitats. In cases where introduction is allowed, it shall be subject to an environmental impact study which shall focus on the bio-ecology, socio-economic and related aspects of the area where the species will be introduced. The proponent shall be required to secure prior informed consent from the local stakeholders. Research on the effects of established alien tree species all over the country is being conducted. Biodiversity, economic and social impacts will be determined.

Some recommendations on the introduction and management of alien species

Surprisingly, in the face of the enormous economic losses and ecological damages that can result from biotic introductions of alien species, relatively meager efforts have been made to educate the


Some introduced alien species in the Philippines

public about these consequences. A great deal can be done at all educational levels. The only way we can manage IAS is by understanding their characteristics and the processes involved in the invasion. Legislations and regulations to restrict the movement of unwanted organisms are very important. Prevention of introduction is clearly more cost efficient than eradication or control of IAS once they are established. In 2002, the ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity (ARCBC) conducted a workshop on Biodiversity and Management of Alien Invasive Species in the Philippines. Management approaches and possible policies to regulate alien invasive species are listed hereunder. Pilot testing prior to introduction of alien species On previous occasions, it was noted that the pressing need to increase food production made it easy to introduce alien species, which were later determined to be invasive. Similarly, some species were introduced easily on the premise of high commercial value or economic returns. There is also danger with regard to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). To determine beneficial and invasive attributes of introduced species, pilot testing has to be conducted. Enforcement of rigid inspection and quarantine regulations Rigid inspection and quarantine regulations are needed to safeguard against inadvertent transportation, especially of pests introduced through the importation of logs and reforestation species. It was emphasized that the evaluation of imports, especially of forest products, should be conducted jointly by the DENR and the Department of Agriculture (DoA). It was also agreed to advocate speciessite matching as an approach to reforestation; it was recommended that indigenous species should be favoured over alien species.

Some introduced alien species in the Philippines


Monitoring the effects of identified invasive alien species on indigenous and endemic species This involves assessment of the extent of invasions by alien species and their economic implications. Monitoring developments relevant to altered species or GMOs This is in anticipation of eventual aggressive marketing by GMOsupported multinationals. Mobilization of inter-agency efforts through task forces This will involve the DENR, DoA, NGOs, other government agencies, communities, private entities and other related agencies. One activity will be the development of a regional/national programme for taxonomists to build core competencies and expertise in identifying specific groups of alien species. Enhancement of policies and other regulations related to invasive alien species Review, update or amend existing policies and other regulations. New policies can likewise be formulated to manage alien species properly. These include sanitary and phytosanitary measures and other associated legislation. Enhancement of public awareness and encouragement of advocacy campaigns This will enable people to understand the effects of alien species on our ecosystems. Furthermore, their commitment and participation can be elicited. Improved education and dissemination of information should be undertaken.


Some introduced alien species in the Philippines

Conduct more research on the effects and management of alien species Research to determine the beneficial or invasive attributes of introduced alien species should commence or continue. This should include tracking through time, and tagging when applicable. Research results should be disseminated to the appropriate parties/end users so that action to control or eradicate IAS and limit further introductions can be justified and implemented. Establishment or development of a database A meta database that will enable agencies/interested parties to locate data or which agency to approach to obtain data shall be established on Web sites. Data holders will retain the information in their respective agencies and accessing will be governed by regulations and procedures. The database will include a list of recognized invasive species and case studies of levels of damage and of control measures employed. Several of these recommendations are being conducted but more remains to be done. All countries should take these threats, especially due to invasive species, more seriously.


Managing invasive pest species and the Farmer Field School approach
Peter A.C. Ooi

Extended abstract
The spread and damage caused by the coconut leaf beetle, B. longissima (Gestro) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Hispinae) in Asia and the Pacific highlights the dangers of invasive species on coconut and native palms. The insect is believed to be transported unwittingly in coconut planting materials or ornamental palms from forests. Once it arrives undetected, the paucity of effective natural enemies leads to the rapid spread of an aggressive pest that threatens the coconut industry and, indeed, the survival of ornamental palms. The coconut leaf beetle is an invasive species that can be managed by the introduction of effective parasitoids. Two documents need to be considered in approaching the management of an invasive pest species: The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM), Nos. 2 and 3. The first document allows an analysis of the nature of the pest and if classical biological control is necessary, ISPM No. 3 provides a code of conduct that will minimize the risk of introduction of effective natural enemies. However, following the ISPM is only a first step and should be complemented by efforts for quality farmer education using the participatory Farmer Field School (FFS) approach. The need for FFS is clearly discussed in the case study of a classical biological control of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.)
IPM and Agro-biodiversity Expert, c/o FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand


Managing invasive pest species and the Farmer Field School approach

(Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam. The successful introduction and establishment of Diadegma semiclausum (Hellen) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) was effected by educating farmers about the harmful effects of spraying on the survival of beneficial agents. In Malaysia, lack of farmers education led to a 12-year wait before the impact of the parasitoid could be realized because farmers continued to spray at two-day intervals and thus hampered any effort to establish the parasitoid. Indeed, often the use of insecticides contributed to the problem instead of being a solution. Learning from the Malaysian and Philippines experience, biological control of P. xylostella was achieved in six months in Viet Nam, following a concerted effort to teach farmers about biological control. Indeed, it is recommended that any classical biological control programme should have concomitant FFS efforts. Similarly, it is envisaged that an FFS effort will provide the means for farmers to sustain management of key pests of coconuts, such as the rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and Artona catoxantha (Hampson) (Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae). Incorporating the FFS approach into a classical biological control provides a good learning opportunity for farmers to discover the complex issue of biological control. Perhaps, for the first time, farmers will learn about the rich biodiversity that keeps most pest species in check. Farmers will become custodians of the biological control agents and ensure that these will continue to keep pest populations at bay.


An overview of two invasive species and national response in Viet Nam

Duong Minh Tu

The Government of Viet Nam has adopted the new revised text of the International Plant Protection Convention and its mandate for invasive species is discussed briefly. Two invasive species, golden apple snail and the khapra beetle, are described and national response to counter the threat of invasives is elaborated. Proposals to address the problem are suggested.

Viet Nam's commitment to conserve and protect biodiversity dates back well before the government ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1994 and adopted a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) in 1995. The declaration of the first national park in 1962, the National Conservation Strategy (1985) and the National Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development (1991) were the foundations for the development of the BAP (www.icem.com.au/bioplan/Viet Nam.pdf). The Government of Viet Nam has adopted the new revised text of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC, Box 1). Facilitating trade in agricultural, forestry and fishery products at regional and international levels is accorded high priority to develop the countrys economy.

Plant Protection Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam


An overview of two invasive species and national response in Viet Nam

Box 1. The IPPC and invasive species

Purpose Securing common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plant and plant products, and to promote appropriate measures for their control Terms Pest: Any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products Quarantine pest: A pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled Introduction: The entry of a pest resulting in its establishment. Establishment: Perpetuation, for the foreseeable future, of a pest within an area after entry Phytosanitary measure: Any legislation, regulation or official procedure having the purpose to prevent the introduction and/or spread of pests Coverage in terms of protection Agricultural crops Ornamental plants Biodiversity Forest plants Horticultural plants Plant products Wild flora

An overview of two invasive species and national response in Viet Nam


Two invasive species in Viet Nam

Golden apple snail (Pomacea sp.) The golden apple snail was introduced to Viet Nam in 1998 through many pathways without undergoing quarantine. Since its introduction, the snail has been considered a rich source of protein for fish and ducks, thus its culture has been encouraged nationwide. In 1992, two snail farms were established in the country one in Kien Giang Province, and the other in Ho Chi Minh City as a joint venture between Taiwan and Viet Nam. The aim was to farm the snail on a large scale for export to Taiwan. Unfortunately, many snails escaped from the culture ponds and found their way into ponds, ditches and rice fields. When floods arrived, the snail spread more rapidly into the delta region of the Mekong River. Ten years after its introduction, the apple snail has penetrated 57 of the 61 provinces of the country, and in 1997 it affected more than 132 000 ha of rice fields, ponds, lakes and ditches. The snail has had a major effect on rice crops and water morning glory as it has: Reduced seedling density Increased the use of pesticides and the cost for pest control Reduced farmers income Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium Evert.) Khapra beetle is a very dangerous insect pest for stored commodities. It comes from India. More than 100 stored commodities are damaged by the beetle such as paddy, rice, cereals, peanut, dried fish and animal feed. The beetle is introduced normally with imported products such as wheat flour, grain and animal feed. This insect has high tolerance to


An overview of two invasive species and national response in Viet Nam

fumigants and is difficult to control as its larvae have periods of diapause. The beetle is a quarantine pest of Viet Nam (Group I not present [IPPC definition]). Annually, there are 20 - 30 consignments of imported commodities to Viet Nam, which are infested by khapra beetle and fumigated with high concentrations of methyl bromide (from 80 - 100 g/m3/24 or 48 h).

National action
Information dissemination: Over the last three years the Department of Environment and the Department of Plant Protection, together with IUCN Viet Nam and other institutions, have organized workshops and issued many leaflets on invasive species. Regulation of invasive species: Two years ago, the Department of Environment (Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment) submitted the Regulations on Invasive Species to the government for approval. Quarantine: Importing organisms of general or invasive species should be consistent with the Ordinance on Plant Protection and Quarantine (revised 2001) and Regulations on Plant Quarantine (revised 2002). The procedures for importing invasive species to Viet Nam are: The importer should provide the necessary information to the National Institute of Plant Protection (NPPO) for importing invasive species Checking information on invasive species Issuing of import permit and conditions for importing, if possible Quarantine check (pre-border, border and post-entry quarantine)

An overview of two invasive species and national response in Viet Nam


Rearing invasive species in controlled areas (such as quarantine houses) and continuing to check unwanted impact Release invasive species to the field Difficulties in regulating invasive species in Viet Nam There is a substantial dearth of necessary information on invasive species. The long frontier with Lao PDR, Cambodia and China is difficult to monitor.

Establishment of a network for invasive species at national and regional levels, including government bodies and NGOs to share information on invasive species Establish a regional or international standard to assess the risk of invasive species Build an early detection and warning programme for invasive species Harmonization on regulations and procedures for importing invasive species


Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region: information initiatives for better decision-making
Soetikno S. Sastroutomo and Loke Wai Hong

The spread and proliferation of invasive alien species (IAS) are now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and economic well being of human society. The total annual cost of dealing with IAS worldwide is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, including costs of control, detrimental effects on human health and losses in agricultural production and ecosystem services. The traditional approach of gathering and disseminating biological information related to IAS is clearly inadequate to deal with the magnitude of the issue. Critical and accurate information on IAS as well as fast delivery are needed for relevant authorities to conduct risk and impact assessments, inspection, early detection, monitoring, and implementation of effective control measures. These needs are juxtaposed by the necessity for long-term management strategies. Electronic media and online databases offer an efficient solution for the storage, analysis and rapid distribution of potentially huge amounts of biological data and knowledge related to IAS. About 200 Internet databases are available and can be selectively used to build national information systems on IAS in Asia-Pacific economies. Some data banks and information resources such as GISP, ISSG, CBD, ENAC and CABI are discussed.
CAB International, South East Asia Regional Centre, P.O. Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia


Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region

A proposal for the development of an ASEAN IAS database to further support the management of IAS in Southeast Asia has been prepared and submitted to donor agencies for funding consideration.

What is an invasive alien species? The serious problems of invasive species or IAS were acknowledged first during the CBD meeting in 2000 (under Article 8 In situ Conservation). An IAS can be defined as an organism that is non-native to the country/ecosystem under consideration. Its introduction (intentional or unintentional) will cause or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or damage to human health. It is considered a threat to biodiversity, second only to habitat loss. It causes serious impediments to conservation and the sustainable use of global, regional and local biodiversity and generates significant negative impacts on goods and services provided by ecosystems. Most of the serious invasive species possess or at least have some of these characteristics: (i) rapid growth rate, (ii) efficient dispersal capabilities, (iii) large reproductive output and (iv) broad environmental tolerance. The most serious effects of IAS are: competition with native taxa of flora and fauna; hybridization with genetically close species; causing changes in soil physical and chemical characteristics; modification of natural and semi-natural habitats; propagation of pests and diseases.

Global information on IAS

The traditional approach of gathering and disseminating related biological information is clearly inadequate to deal with the magnitude

Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region


of the issue. Critical and accurate information on IAS as well as fast delivery are needed for relevant authorities to conduct risk and impact assessments, inspection, early detection, monitoring, and implementation of effective control measures. These needs are juxtaposed by the necessity for long-term management strategies. The most effective solution to address the immense need for IAS information is through Internet databases. Sellers et al. (2004) prepared a list of more than 200 Internet databases that detail, inter alia, invasive species, relevant literature, taxonomies, expertise, distribution, and images as well as data on other species of world flora and fauna. This paper was presented during the expert meeting of the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN) held in Baltimore, United States in April 2004. Some of the important information and databases (regional and global) are described hereunder. The Global Invasive Species Program (GISP) www.gisp.org The GISP was established in 1997 to address global threats caused by IAS, and to provide support to the implementation of Article 8(h) of the CBD. The key partners during Phase I were the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), CAB International (CABI) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Phase I was partly funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). A plethora of information is available from this site, such as databases, publications, interactive maps and newsletters. The GISP also organized seven regional workshops to assess IAS threats, impacts and needs in different regions. The results of these workshops were published as national reports and proceedings.


Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region

Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) www.isg.org The ISSG was established in 1994 in New Zealand and is part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the IUCN. The ISSG is a global group of 146 scientific and policy experts on invasive species from 41 countries. In addition to its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand, the ISSG has three regional groups in North America, Europe and South Asia. The ISSG provides advice on threats from invasives and control or eradication methods to IUCN members, conservationists and policymakers. The group's activities focus primarily on invasive species that cause biodiversity loss, with particular attention on those that threaten oceanic islands. The ISSG also facilitates exchange of information and expertise on IAS. It publishes the Aliens newsletter and manages the Aliens-L list server with IUCN support, which houses the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). The GISD contains information on species, their taxonomy and ecology, their native and invaded distribution ranges, impacts, contacts and references as well as management methods. The database is user friendly, quick and reliable. Convention on Biological Diversity www.biodiv.org/programmes/cross-cutting/alien The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD recognized that there is an urgent need to address the impact of IAS. Steps toward eradication, control and mitigation of their impacts combined with legislation and guidelines at national, regional and international levels were addressed during COP 6 as priority areas. Invasive alien species are considered a cross-cutting issue and therefore are also considered under the various thematic areas of the CBD.

Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region


COP 6 adopted 15 guiding principles for the prevention, introduction and mitigation of impacts of IAS (Decision VI/23). COP 7 requested the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to establish an ad hoc technical expert group to address gaps in international regulatory frameworks and to provide the SBSTTA with recommendations prior to COP 9. This group will meet in New Zealand in May 2005 (Decision VII/13). Additionally, the SBSTTA is developing indicators for consideration by the COP for many of the thematic areas of the Convention, including IAS. These indicators will initially be considered and discussed during SBSTTA 10 in February 2005 and again later at COP 8 in 2006. The IAS Web site of the CBD contains information on, inter alia, thematic programmes, guiding principles, COP decisions and details of approximately 90 case studies. Network of Aquaculture Centres in AsiaPacific (NACA) www.enaca.org This Web site provides users with information and experiences on aquatic IAS. It serves as a tool to raise awareness and to assist users in making science-based decisions concerning the risks associated with movements of aquatic animals that may have the potential to become IAS. The Web site is organized around the general principles of risk analysis. CAB International www.cabi.org CAB International (CABI) is a science-based, international non-profit making organization that specializes in information and sustainable solutions for agricultural and environmental problems in developed and developing countries.


Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region

Several CABI activities and initiatives related to IAS information are described hereunder. Compendium Programme CAB International is developing a range of multimedia electronic compendia. The compendium concept involves development of encyclopaedic multimedia tools that bring together a wide range of different types of science-based information. Each compendium comprises information sourced from experts, which is edited and compiled by an independent scientific organization. It is updated routinely and supported by a diverse International Development Consortium. The Compendium Programme is active in these areas: Crop Protection Animal Health and Production Forestry Aquaculture Coffee Plant Diversity and Invasive Species are being explored. Biosafety Detailed information can be found at www.cabicompendium.org Currently only the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC) has substantial information on IAS. It includes the results of 18-month projects to enhance the contents of the CPC on invasive species and forest pests of quarantine concern: 300 new datasheets 160 on invasive species, mainly plants; 140 on forest pests of quarantine importance and 130 datasheet reviews.

Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region


Invasive Species Compendium There is interest in the development of an IAS Compendium among various consortium members of existing compendia, other users and from within CABI. In 2001/2002 a feasibility study for the development of an IAS Compendium was initiated by USDAARS, a consortium member of the CPC. An Expert consultation was organized in Washington DC, United States in June 2002. This workshop recommended that CABI take the lead in the development of an IAS Compendium. Surveys of IAS stakeholders, especially in North America, indicate an acute need for a science-based, authoritative knowledge bank on all aspects of the topic, to house the world's expert knowledge in one convenient, updated resource. It will benefit from links with the many local and regional initiatives on this subject. A proposal on the IAS Compendium has been prepared for funding consideration and will be divided into two phases: Module 1: including detailed datasheets for species (provisionally 500) of priority importance for North America Module 2: including detailed datasheets for remaining species (provisionally 500) that assume importance elsewhere in the world The IAS Compendium will include: Detailed data sheets on 1 000 invasive species of major economic, environmental or social importance, covering a wide range of taxonomic groups and all regions of the world. These will be obtained from experts at institutions worldwide, edited to rigorous standards and peer-reviewed. The text will be soft-linked to all other components of the compendium Basic data sheets, with taxonomic, host and distribution data, for several thousand other invasive species


Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region

A taxonomic database, covering all groups of pest and host organisms, with dynamic presentation of hierarchies in real time and in-context Search facilities: free text searches of all areas of the compendium; advanced relational search facilities A bibliographic database of up to 100 000 references, many with abstracts, linked with citations throughout the compendium A glossary of terms, linked to all other contents. The selection and display of a term can be switched from one language to another A geographic distribution database containing national and subnational distribution data for all organisms covered, with a GIS for dynamic mapping A country database with text, maps and statistical data concerning invasive species; contact details for national services dealing with invasives A library of selected full-text documents, linked to other components of the compendium An image database, linked throughout the compendium A statistical database, providing selected national statistics A decision-support system to assist risk analysis on the introduction, establishment, spread and impact of a pest or invasive species Climatic data, as a basis for estimating the effects of climate and climate change on species distribution Diagnostic aids for identification of unknown species A notepad facility, allowing users to add their own in-context material on any topic, for personal records or for sharing with other users of the compendium In addition to the compendium, a series of books on IAS will be published by CABI in collaboration with relevant institutions and scientists. The first issue is Invasive plant species of the world a reference guide to environmental weeds by E. Weber.

Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region


ASEAN IAS Information Network

In the last ten years CABI South East Asian Regional Centre (CABI SEARC) has been active in the regions related to insect pests, weeds as well as invasive management. However, specific activities on IAS only started in 2003. A needs assessment survey on IAS in ASEAN countries via focused questionnaires was conducted in 2003 together with ASEANET (the Southeast Asian Loop of BioNET International). The most important findings are the need for: The establishment of an information network on IAS Regional projects on the management of golden apple snail and aquatic weeds, especially water hyacinth and salvinia and giant mimosa Capacity building for early warning systems and detection techniques, risk analysis and environmental impact assessment and methods of treatment for imported commodities Based on these findings, a proposal on an ASEAN IAS Information Network has been submitted for funding consideration. The main objective of this proposal is to develop a Web-based knowledge bank on IAS for ASEAN countries. The I3N (of the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network) Cataloguer tool, developed by the California Information Node, a partner of the U.S. National Biological Information Infrastructure would be used for training and distribution to all country coordinators.

The growing frequency of IAS incursions worldwide and their impact continue to threaten biodiversity, ecosystems, resource availability, national economies and human health at an alarming rate. Invasive alien species are spreading into new regions at unprecedented speed and reach. The problem of IAS is likely to worsen with time because of climatic changes that promote species migrations and expanding


Managing invasive alien species in the AsiaPacific region

world trade that transports organisms both deliberately and unintentionally widely and rapidly across natural geographic barriers via air, land and sea traffic. Managing IAS is thus becoming more challenging and will be a lengthy mandate. Risk and impact assessments, inspection, early detection, and monitoring and implementation of effective control measures are therefore highly dependent on the availability of succinct, up-to-date information that can keep pace with new invasion threats. It is fortunate that many IAS information sources have been developed and existing electronic databases from recognized institutions dealing with IAS are available for use by developing countries in the AsiaPacific region to forge their national policies and control strategies before their own databases are developed.

Sellers, E., Simpson, A. & Curd-Hetrick, S. 2004. List of invasive alien species (IAS) online databases and databases containing IAS information. A preliminary draft document, prepared for the Expert Meeting toward the implementation of a Global Invasive Species Information Network. Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Are forests coming back with a vengeance on agriculture? Some ecological principles revisited
S. Appanah

Extended abstract
Foresters have always bemoaned the continued loss of forests generated by agricultural expansion. Briefly, the tide seemed to turn. Following the invasion of the coconut leaf beetle (B. longissima) into the continental Asian region, some agriculturists attributed the uncontrolled movement of ornamental palms from the IndoMalayan Archipelago as the likely cause. While this may be true, a quick scan of the various invasives suggests both the agricultural and forestry sectors are equally responsible for spreading invasive species. One classic case is the introduction of the cane toad (Bufo marinus) to control cane beetles in Australia. However, the toad shifted its attention to native forest areas, and wreaked havoc on the ecosystem. Among tree species, out of the 1 121 species used worldwide, 443 introduced species are reported to be invasive. The story of invasives is dotted with disastrous introductions from both forestry and agriculture. This being the case, and in order to reduce these incidences, there is merit in learning how invasive species work: what are their attributes, and the characteristics of invaded communities? Our concern for invasive species stems primarily from their impact on the economy. Some countries like the United States claim that invasive species cost their economy US$137 billion annually. Disease organisms have likewise resulted in a loss of US$41 billion. A single mammal like the rabbit is costing Australia US$400 million annually. A startling number of diseases are moving around the globe these
National Forest Programme Advisor, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand; e-mail: Simmathiri.Appanah@fao.org


Are forests coming back with a vengeance on agriculture?

include HIV/AIDS, Avian flu, Nipah virus, and the bubonic/pneumonic plague. The invasions are increasing because of increased trade and movement of people. Invaders come from all the major taxa, from viruses to higher plants and mammals. Generally, the invaders are not a problem at the source. But in their new environment, they end up transforming the structure and species composition of the ecosystems by repressing or excluding native species. This may even lead to a cascading effect on the ecosystem as well: for example, when an invasive insect replaces a native insect which is an important pollinator. The drop in the number of pollinators can result in lowered fruit production of certain trees, which can then lead to a decline in the vertebrate dispersal agents. Increasing global domination by a few invaders is leading to relatively homogeneous conditions worldwide. Enough is known about invaders to draw some key predictors. In the case of plants, species with high invasive potential usually have a large native geographical range, are small in genome size, are associated with disturbed habitats, have small seed mass, have a short juvenile period and produce large seed crops at frequent intervals; even better if they are soil-stored. Vegetative propagation definitely gives the invader an advantage. The habitat conditions in the new location are usually similar as the point of origin. Species with specialized needs, such as very specific pollinators and dispersal agents are less likely to invade. Some other factors include the invaders ability to out-compete the native species for resources through better foraging techniques, its lower maintenance needs and fewer natural enemies. Some ecosystems are more vulnerable to invasions than others. Oceanic islands, habitats that are periodically disturbed and areas that have high human encroachment are more vulnerable to invasive species. In reality, only a fraction of the species introduced to a new location become invasive. Invaders exhibit considerable similarities in species attributes such as size, life span, fruit type and dispersal habits. This explains why Cecropia sp. of South America are invading

Are forests coming back with a vengeance on agriculture?


sites in Africa where normally the Musanga cecropoides, an ecological equivalent, are found. Another interesting perception is that habitats with high species diversity are more resistant to invasions. However there are too many discrepancies for this to become a rule. Thus it can be concluded that in locations where conditions favour high diversity, there are more niches to occupy likewise for the invaders. Overall, much of the invasive ecology can be elucidated in the theoretical framework of community ecology. According to the niche theory, how a species responds to resources, the physical environment and natural enemies determines the success of a species in a specific environment. This approach provides an adequate basis for understanding why and when an exotic species turns into an invasive one. In fact, an invader faces many barriers before it can be classified as an invasive species. It must first move to the new range the geographical move. Once this is accomplished, it needs to establish itself in the new environment, reproduce and disperse effectively. Even if it establishes itself in disturbed habitats, it cannot qualify as an invasive species technically. This only occurs when it crosses the final barrier, i.e. establishes itself in the natural habitat. We have considerable understanding of how invasive species move. We also have at our disposal quarantine and other control systems to minimize the invasion of alien species. But their implementation remains imperfect. This is where regional collaboration, sharing of information and networking can be of tremendous assistance in controlling the invasion of alien species. In addition, excessive alteration of the natural habitat greatly predisposes the site to invasives. It will be a challenge to control human activities so invasive species can be halted or slowed down. The history of alien species invasions reveals, more often than not, that they appear to be thwarting our efforts. It often seems as if we are merely slowing the rate of invasions. However, when invasive species have truly affected the bank balance or life, human success has been considerable. This means it is possible to control invasive species from spreading. We need not live in a homogeneous world.


Invasive alien species of weeds and insects: the agriculture-forestry nexus, examples from India

Invasive alien species (IAS) have become an environmental concern in India. The issues of invasive weeds and insects and their management in the two sectors of agriculture and forestry are highlighted. Some aquatic and terrestrial weeds are described, the former generate more problems. Three categories for invasive insects in forest tree crops are described. Many pest issues, earlier considered to be minor, have attained pest status in India owing to intensive management practices. Also, new and emerging pests have been attributed to agrosilvicultural practices. The main management option for weeds and insects is biological control. There is an urgent need to address the various issues connected with alien weeds and insects in a focused and coordinated manner at the national level warranting intersectoral approaches.

It is maintained that invasive alien species (IAS) are the greatest threat to biodiversity around the globe. The introduction of IAS can be intentional or accidental. There are several examples of international introductions of exotics in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors. Accidental introduction mainly occurs through travel or imports such as food grains and wood. Some invasive species can

Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi-680653, Kerala, India.


Invasive alien species of weeds and insects

affect the structure and function of ecosystems. India has a vast range of biodiversity. There are nearly 500 wildlife sanctuaries, 90 national parks and 13 biosphere reserves. Invasive species, especially weeds, have been a serious problem for forestry and agriculture. It is estimated that out of about 45 000 species of plants recorded from India, nearly 1 800 are alien and out of the known 54 430 arthropods (including insects), nearly 1 100 are alien. Thus IAS have become an environmental issue of concern. In the agricultural sector more attention to the management of alien invasive weeds is given because of the social needs attached to the farming community. No serious attempt has been made in the past to look at the intersectoral problems related to alien invasive species. This paper highlights the issues of invasive weeds and insects and their management in the two sectors of agriculture and forestry.

Major invasive weeds

Both aquatic and terrestrial weeds are of concern, the former causing more problems for farming, fishing and navigation. Only aquatic weeds of relevance to agriculture are dealt with here. Aquatic weeds Salvinia molesta Mitchell (Family: Salviniaceae) and Eichornia crassipes (Martius) (Family: Pontederiaceae) are problematical for farmers in many places and are of serious concern among paddy cultivators in the state of Kerala. Salvinia made its entry in India before 1900 and by now more than 0.2 million hectares of waterbodies are affected. In addition to the problems caused to the farming community, the weed can choke waterbodies and serve as ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Eichornia, popularly known as water hyacinth, was introduced as an ornamental pond plant from the Amazon Basin; now it has become a menace in the backwaters.

Invasive alien species of weeds and insects


For the two aforesaid weeds, conventional control measures have proved less effective. As a sustainable management strategy, biological control methods have been adopted in many areas nationwide. Studies by Joy et al. (1985) and Singh (2001) proved the efficiency of managing Salvinia and Eichornia with biocontrol agents. The curculionid weevil, Neochetina eichhorniae Warner and N. bruchi, natives of South America were introduced to India in 1982 as control agents against Eichornia and established in many places. Terrestrial weeds Lantana camara is a terrestrial weed of South and Central American origin introduced as an ornamental plant in 1809 to India. Usually this weed invades disturbed natural ecosystems and adversely affects biodiversity. The weed is distributed throughout India. In forests, Lantana is considered as a potential fire hazard in deciduous forests and it is combustible even when green. Thus this weed can be dangerous in national parks and sanctuaries. Lantana also competes with agricultural crops and has an allelopathic effect inhibiting the growth of other plants. This weed is reported to be of concern in teak, eucalypt and coffee plantations in India. Various mechanical, cultural, chemical and biological methods have been tried to minimize the spread of Lantana in forests and pastoral lands. Serious attempts were made by the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun to identify insects that feed on Lantana (Beeson and Chatterjee 1939). In 1941, a tingid bug, Teleonema scrupulosa, was imported from Australia as a biocontrol agent. However, this insect fed on Tectona grandis (teak) and hence the insect culture was destroyed (Khan 1944). In spite of this, this insect has been reported from many states in India (Sushil Kumar 2001). Mikania micrantha has been a serious problem in the southern states and also in the northeastern states. This perennial climber has been known since 1918 and has been reported as a menace in many parts of Asia and Oceania. Many forests and agricultural crops are being


Invasive alien species of weeds and insects

suppressed owing to the prolific spread of Mikania. Numerous field crops (sugarcane, maize, rice, pineapple, cotton, coffee), forestry crops (teak, eucalypts) and agroforestry systems are under the grip of this invasive weed. Many insects have been reported to feed on Mikania. However, most of them are polyphagous and are of no use as biocontrol agents. Similarly indigenous pathogens were also found to be ineffective in controlling this weed, mainly due to their non-virulence. In India, attempts are being made to assess the potential of an exotic rust fungus, Puccinia spegazzinii against Mikania (Sankaran pers. comm.). This fungus is undergoing strict quarantine watch and several economically important agricultural and forestry crops are being screened. There have been many advocates of 2,4-D compounds against Mikania but its toxic action on biota and long persistence (Wang et al. 1994), make it unsuitable as a control agent. Mimosa pudica, an introduced weed, has become a serious problem in coconut and cashew plantations. Similarly it has been reported in glades of natural forests and also in teak plantations. Manual removal of this weed is difficult, due to its spiny nature. Chromolaena odorata is a perennial shrub, native to South and Central America, and capable of establishing in a wide variety of agroecological conditions. Chromolaena odorata is a serious problem in pastures, forests, orchards and commercial plantations in South and Northeast India (Singh 1998). It is widespread in coconut, rubber, oil palm, tea, teak, coffee and cardamom plantations and also in natural forests. Several insects and pathogens have been reported to be useful as biocontrol agents, but none has been effective in a practical way. Of late, this weed is also being used as a source of green manure by farmers in many parts of the country.

Invasive alien species of weeds and insects


Invasive insects
There are three categories for invasive insects in forest tree crops: (i) exotic insects on exotic plants, (ii) exotic insects on native plants and (iii) native insects on native plants. The spread of Heteropsylla cubana (Homoptera: Psyllidae) is a good example of exotic insects on exotic tree species. However, H. cubana is now not regarded as a serious problem in India. The occurrence of the spiraling whitefly, Aleyrodicus disperses, is an example of an exotic insect invading native crops. It is a native of Central America and spread westward across the Pacific, Southeast Asia and entered India through Sri Lanka in 1994. This insect has been reported as feeding on more than 150 species including fruit plants, vegetables and avenue trees. This insect is also reported to feed on the leaves of intensively managed teak plantations (Varma et al. 2001). Native insects becoming invasive on native plants are also an issue. For example, the Rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros is an established pest of coconut palms in India. Very recently it has become a problem for oil palm in southern states of India. The incidence of the pest in oil palm plantations closer to natural forest areas has been noted in many places. Beetles were also collected from natural forest areas decaying logs served as breeding grounds and the adult beetles later migrated to susceptible crops like oil palms and coconut. This is also an example of a pest connection between the agriculture and forestry sectors. There are several cases of invasion of indigenous insect pests on indigenous tree crops in forest plantations, for example Hyblaea puera, a major defoliator pest of teak. There are periodic outbreaks of this pest in all age classes of teak plantations.


Invasive alien species of weeds and insects

Though teak is indigenous only to India, Myanmar, Thailand and Lao PDR, this pest has been reported in other countries where it is an exotic. The level and extent of H. puera invasion in these countries need to be monitored. Many pest issues, which earlier were considered to be minor, have attained pest status in India owing to intensive management practices, especially for teak (Varma et al. 2001). Also, new and emerging pests have been attributed to agrosilvicultural practices. For example, Helicoverpa armigera, which is known to be a notorious agricultural pest, was found to feed on the terminal shoots of young teak in Tamil Nadu. Here, groundnut was introduced as an intercrop in a young teak plantation with a view to increasing the nutrient content of the soil and obtaining extra revenue. But the agroforestry practice generated a new pest problem (Varma et al. 2001).

Management options
There has been inertia among agricultural, forestry and other stakeholders in tackling invasive species. The ecosystems concerned are so sensitive that the control strategy to be adopted must be as safe as possible. Eradication is usually not feasible but strategies can be evolved to reduce the density and abundance of invasives below the threshold level. As a short-term strategy, insecticides and weedicides have been suggested, but they have far-reaching consequences in the long term. The main thrust is on biological control of weeds and insects. However, care should be taken when employing exotic pathogens/parasites for biological control they should undergo strict quarantine procedures at recognized national institutions before introduction as a control agent. Some alien weeds have been naturalized in India and provide income for the rural community. One example is the Lantana basket weavers in some districts of Tamil Nadu, who have been in this business for

Invasive alien species of weeds and insects


more than 50 years. Thus there is also a need to address related socioeconomic aspects.

The need for intersectoral cooperation

The agencies that control the activities of the agricultural sector on IAS include various agricultural universities at the state level, state agricultural departments and the Central Agricultural Ministry with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research as the core centre. For the forestry sector there are state forest research institutes, state forest departments and the Ministry of Environment and Forests with the Indian Council of Forest Research as the core centre. Coordination and cooperation between forestry and agriculture and also among other related sectors is not taking place at the required level. The knowledge and expertise among the agriculture and forestry sectors have to be tapped and how to best integrate the skills of these two groups is crucial. Habitat degradation and loss of biodiversity are two major consequences of IAS. Networking among experts in the fields of agriculture and forestry, both at the state level and at the centres is very important. Areas in which experts from the two sectors can work together have to be explored.

The way ahead

There is an urgent need to address the various issues connected with alien weeds and insects in a focused and coordinated manner at the national level. Some of the examples cited clearly warrant the need for and scope of intersectoral approaches. A number of possibilities still exist for the introduction and multiplication of invasive species. Thus quarantine and monitoring aspects have to be strengthened with vigilance and caution. A more sensible approach would be to prevent the introduction of IAS and hence prediction methods and risk


Invasive alien species of weeds and insects

analysis have to be perfected to suit national needs. India needs to study the approaches of other countries for managing invasive species and the technologies that have been adopted.

Beeson, C.F.C. & Chatterjee, N.C. 1939. Possibilities of control of Lantana (Lantana aculeata L.) by indigenous insect pests. Indian Forest Records (New Series), 6: 41 - 84. Joy, P.J, Satheesan, N.V, Lyla, K.R & Joseph, D. 1985. Successful biological control of the floating weed Salvinia molesta, using the weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae. Paper presented at the Asian Pacific Weed Science Society, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Khan, A.H. 1944. On the Lantana bug (Teleonema scrupulosa Stal.). Indian J. Entomol., 6: 149 - 161 Singh, S.P. 1998. A review of biological suppression of Chromolaena odorata K & R in India. In Fessar et al., eds. Proc. 4th international workshop on biological control and management of Chromolaena odorata, pp. 86 - 92. USA, University of Guam. Singh, S.P. 2001. Biological control of invasive weeds in India. In K.V. Sankaran et al., eds. Proc. workshop on alien weeds in moist tropical zones: banes and benefits, pp. 11 - 19. India, KFRI and UK, CABI Bio Science. Sushil Kumar. 2001. Management of Lantana in India: trend, prospects and need for integrated approach. In K.V. Sankaran et al., eds. Proc. workshop on alien weeds in moist tropical zones: banes and benefits, pp. 95 - 106. India, KFRI and UK, CABI Bio Science. Wang, Y.S., Jaw, C.G. & Chen, Y.I. 1994. Accumulation of 2,4-D and glyphosate in fish and water hyacinth. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 74: 397 - 403. Varma, R.V, Sudheendrakumar, V.V. & Sajeev, T.V. 2001. Assessment of pest problems in intensively managed STM teak plantations. KFRI Research Report No. 198. Peechi, KFRI. 14 pp.


Outline for the AsiaPacific Forest Invasive Species Network

Sun Jianghua

The network basics

The network will have three main features: (1) an information platform, (2) a database and (3) a GIS-based search and analysis system. The aims will be: To provide timely reports or announce news or information on regional forest invasive species. To build a dynamic Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Information System with supplementary information as it becomes available To alert countries about invasion risks once an invasion occurs in the region (each country will nominate a contact person who will be responsible for providing the network with available information on incursions and risks). Information on species biology and ecology, including potential range prediction, monitoring techniques and control measures can be provided To establish a Web site as the basis for an easily accessible information system and database To report on and share new research results and information worldwide on forest invasive species, especially on prevention, monitoring and control technologies To compile an annual report on forest invasive species in the region Any other tasks as directed by the Working Group
Research Entomologist, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080 PR China.


Outline for the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network

1) Database building: species and ecology information 2) Public awareness on invasive species: To provide information on invasive species to enhance public awareness 3) Information system on invasive species: This information system can be used by anyone with access to the Internet; there will be links not only to the APFISN database but also relevant Web sites on invasive species 4) Home page of the Web site: Introduction about the network with updated information and news


Panel discussion

The panel discussion focused on Update of recommendations of expert consultation on coconut beetle outbreak in APPPC member countries, 26-27 October 2004, Bangkok, Thailand. The panelists were Dr P. Rethinam (Chair), Mr Wilco Liebregts, Dr Tran Tan Viet, Dr Chalerm Sindhusake and Dr Peter A.C. Ooi.

Recommendation 1
Adopt a regional approach to develop a programme on Coconut Beetle Management for Asia and the Pacific with FAO providing a coordinating forum to enable individual member countries as well as neighbouring non-member countries, to plan and strengthen an ecologically sound IPM programme for the palm industry (including coconut). To further this objective, it is imperative that FAO, the APCC, donor communities (including the Common Fund for Commodities) and member countries of the Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC) work together to develop a comprehensive programme to ensure that the coconut industry will continue to symbolize a tropical agro-biodiversity haven that mirrors sustainable development for poverty alleviation through farmer education using a Farmer Field School approach. Appreciating that national governments and international agencies should work together towards developing a comprehensive programme for an ecologically sound IPM programme, and further recognizing that this forum will provide a platform to coordinate efforts for the sharing of experiences and consolidate the achievements made to date, the meeting recommends that further efforts be made to strengthen the taxonomy of the hispine beetles found on palms and enhance the exploration for and use of microbial agents in a sustainable manner.


Panel discussion

Recommendation 2
The meeting noted that a regional programme will accelerate classical biological control implementation; reduce cost; enhance sustainability through optimizing of resources, sharing of experiences and knowledge, avoiding pitfalls, exchanging biological control agents and promoting better understanding among countries in Asia and the Pacific. The meeting recognized that while there is a need to accelerate the implementation of classical biological control, there is an urgent need to address three needs generated by the incidence of the coconut leaf beetle and hence the type of interventions: 1) The need to carry out classical biological control quickly in areas where the beetle is already present 2) The need for containment of the beetle when it is first detected as an invasive species 3) The provision of appropriate information to countries facing invasion so that quarantine services can be better prepared to prevent the arrival of the species In this respect, it was suggested that centres of excellence for the management of palm hispine beetles be planned and established to enhance the skills and capabilities of national scientists to meet the challenges of invasive species. It was further clarified that this does not mean maintaining a culture of the biological control agents but rather having centres that are able and ready to assist countries that request them. These biological control agents can be recovered from the field and numbers produced for despatch to recipient countries. Such activities will greatly reflect the strength of the network.

Recommendation 3
The meeting further recommended that individual countries should strengthen their own databases of crop pests and natural enemies,

Panel discussion


conduct independent impact assessments to facilitate an enabling environment for both biological control and IPM and further strengthen the regulatory framework of plant quarantine and pesticide management with concurrent activities for enhancing the capacity of extension staff. The meeting further supported the recommendation on setting up a database to strengthen pest alert notifications. A regional cooperation programme will greatly enhance such capacity building and database access.

Recommendation 4
The meeting appreciated the discussion on rearing techniques for the biological control agent of Brontispa longissima and confirmed compliance with the guidelines of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) #2 and #3 and the guidelines for the rearing and release of Asecodes. hispinarum. The need for greater public awareness and farmers participation in classical biological control was highlighted. The meeting further concurred with the need to study the ecology of both insects to ascertain the impact of this biological control effort in each country and incorporation of the results in an overall regional IPM programme that may follow. Recognizing that different countries have varying levels of experiences and capacity to conduct biological control, the meeting recommended that capacity building should be addressed at three levels: Scientists Service providers (extension, NGOs, etc) Farmers and farmers groups


Plenary discussion
The plenary discussion was an open forum moderated by Dr R.V. Varma of the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI). It is summarized hereunder. There is a wealth of information available within the agricultural and forestry sectors to be integrated and implemented in the larger interest of understanding and utilization of invasive species It was felt that other related sectors such as trade, fisheries, health and tourism should also be involved in the invasive species issue The possibility of sourcing the forestry sector for the biological control of pests, particularly coconut beetles, was realized and emphasized It was also felt that national governments should encourage the exchange of experts in forestry and agriculture to resolve agri-forestry issues In line with the concept and nature of IAS, classical biological control options for IAS should receive serious consideration when developing sustainable control measures for long-term suppression of these pests


Working group discussions

WG I International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 2

This first working group focused on the issue of guidelines for pest risk analysis (PRA) outlined in the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 2 and found on page 114 of the Report of the expert consultation on coconut beetle outbreak in APPPC member countries, 26 - 27 October 2004, Bangkok, Thailand. The group, after reviewing the material provided, assessed the three stages of the PRA in the context of its implementation in the countries represented at the meeting. The group discussion, moderated by Dr Soetikno of CABI, concluded that: 1) Countries are aware of ISPM No. 2, however, knowledge of the protocol is weak. It is recommended that the protocol is made available to all the various stakeholders across sectors within countries via nodal points 2) Item 1 needs to be re-inforced by the APPC 3) Many countries are only partially prepared for the implementation of the PRA protocol, with the exception of China which is capable of meeting the various needs or stages 4) Considering the dearth of resources (financial, human, infrastructure, etc.) amongst developing countries, it is recommended that capacity building in the various components of PRA should be strengthened 5) In the context of the coconut beetle, to date there is no specific PRA by countries infested with the beetle. It is therefore important that PRA is done in order to benefit countries that are potentially exposed to the problem, such as India and Sri Lanka


Working group discussion

6) All countries indicated that the steps proposed in the ISPM are sufficiently clear 7) Currently, the stakeholders in both the agricultural and forestry sectors are involved fully in the PRA. However, expert information is needed to strengthen the process. It is therefore recommended that international agencies should help in providing the information that underpins this process 8) Many training programmes are currently generic to quarantine or invasive issues, therefore, there is a need to conduct specific training programmes on the various stages of PRA 9) There is need also for collaborative efforts, sharing of information and exchange of scientists to enhance the process. Identification of expert groups within the region (such as an adequate database on experts and their expertise) will facilitate the process

WG II International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 3

This second working group focused on the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the import and release of exotic biological control agents found in the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 3, and found on page 127 of the Report of the expert consultation on coconut beetle outbreak in APPPC member countries, 26 - 27 October 2004, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognizing that current management of the invasive coconut leaf beetle can be managed successfully by the importation of exotic parasitoids, this working group reviewed the steps recommended by the ISPM No. 3, and assessed the implementation of the CoC in the context of its implementation in the countries represented at the meeting. Moderated by Mr Wilco Liebregts, the group concluded that: 1) Awareness on ISPM No. 3 within national institutions is generally adequate, although not all staff in the relevant institutions may be familiar. It is therefore recommended that

Working group discussion



3) 4)


national institutions encourage their staff to become familiar with ISPM No. 3. China has adequate capacity to implement the CoC; other countries in the region require strengthening in skill development, policy development and improved facilities The steps proposed in the ISPM are sufficiently clear Build or strengthen formal and informal national, regional and international networks between individual specialists and institutions, to allow a broader consultative process on the selection, importation and release of biocontrol agents APFISN would be the appropriate network to promote strengthening of the implementation process of the CoC, and facilitate sharing between national plant protection organizations (NPPOs)

WG III National quarantine capacity and regional cooperation

Using the example of the coconut leaf beetle, this working group focused on how to enhance national quarantine capacity and foster regional cooperation. Several suggestions were made during the panel discussion, such as, mapping, clear definition of invasive species and setting up a database. It was pointed out that during the short tenure of the ASEAN-Planti in Malaysia for the strengthening of plant quarantine implementation, cooperation between ASEAN-Planti and CABI in promoting capabilities to support classical biological control was established. The group discussed responses to initiatives on developing national quarantine capacity to address current issues such as minimizing the spread of an invasive species, and also capability to detect and contain such invasive species. Moderated by Dr Rethinam, the group recommended the following:


Working group discussion

1) Using the coconut leaf beetle (CLB) as an example for quarantine officers or agencies on quarantine measures to prevent IAS, particularly the palm family plant trade among network member countries. The importance of the CLB needs to be stressed in order to convince policy-makers about this issue 2) Issuing a Pest Alert through FAO RAP on the CLB to alert network member countries about the beetle and the need for an emergency plan to deal with this beetle in uninfected countries, such as India and Sri Lanka. Such information is available from the presentations at this workshop. We suggest putting this information on line though the network database 3) Mr Wilco Liebregts should summarize his FAO biological control projects on CLB, so that uninfected countries can obtain the parasitoids immediately should the CLB invade their countries. Proper coordination on this front can be achieved though the focal points with FAO/APCC/APFC or APFISN 4) Ensure that the terms of reference for the country focal points state that one of their tasks is to identify appropriate individual(s) to represent the country on specific technical and policy issues related to invasive species 5) As ASEAN-Planti has been replaced by APHCN, it is recommended that this agencys scope be widened to provide services to the Asia-Pacific region 6) FAO RAP or APFISN should coordinate efforts to clarify CLB taxonomic status through morphological and DNA means

WG IV strengthening the role of networks

This working group, moderated by Gary Man, discussed the various issues related to networks and ways and means of strengthening them. The outputs are summarized hereunder: 1) The network must have an established well-defined structure

Working group discussion


2) The network could be issue-focused, such as for invasive species 3) The network must establish strong linkages with other relevant organizations 4) Identifying and recruiting of members are crucial, as members interests and active participation are the driving forces to the relevance and sustainability of the network 5) A dynamic facilitator/coordinator is necessary to ensure that the network functions as expected by the stakeholders 6) The network must be on constant lookout for opportunities to organize activities or events, such as technical meetings/workshops, capacity building and exchange/sharing of information 7) The network should strive to produce regular outputs such as newsletters, publications, maintain databases and continuously act as a distribution/dissemination channel for important announcements, such as early pest alerts 8) Representatives of the member institutions/agencies/countries (often known as focal points) should be encouraged to have regular internal discussions for collective decision-making on issues

WG V management and policy response needed for mitigating alien invasive species
The group, moderated by Dr Wan Fanghao, generated the following outputs: Management 1) The lack of a national initiative to tackle invasive species is recognized 2) It is recommended that a National Framework covering all types of invasive species should be in place 3) There is weak coordination amongst stakeholders at the national level


Working group discussion

4) It is recommended that further strengthening and coordination among the various agencies involved with the management of invasive species should be underscored considering that issues relevant to invasive species are cross-sectoral in nature 5) Many countries in the region have an incomplete list of invasive species found within the country 6) It is recommended that countries take the initiative to regularly update their species lists 7) Many countries in the region are ill-prepared for the management of invasive species that could potentially harm their economies 8) It is recommended that a rapid response system be developed for preventing risks Policy 1) Awareness on the issues and problems of invasive species is not given much national emphasis 2) It is recommended that concerted awareness should be raised among all stakeholders on problems and various implications 3) Funding is generally lacking for undertaking the various activities related to invasive species management 4) It is recommended that governments, during planning processes, should allocate adequate funding on a regular and proactive basis to support activities 5) Competencies (e.g. PRA) to manage invasive species strategically are insufficient 6) It is recommended that regulatory functions for implementing the management of invasive species be strengthened beyond the roles of conventional quarantine measures

Working group discussion


WG VI identified areas for research needs

The group, moderated by Dr Chaudhuri, identified the following areas where research needs are required: 1) Assessment technology (criteria indicators, impact assessment) 2) Application technology 3) Monitoring 4) Taxonomy 5) Socio-economic (invasive species becoming economically important) 6) Pest risk analysis 7) Biological control 8) Search for alternate parasitoids 9) Developing plant-based products 10) Exploring indigenous knowledge 11) Economic evaluation 12) Loss of productivity 13) Loss of biodiversity 14) Regulatory measures/quarantine 15) Policy and legal issues 16) Database management 17) Acquiring research capacity scientists, forest managers, policy-makers, regulatory authorities 18) Dissemination of knowledge people, NGOs, extension workers, field staff, industrial groups


Appendix I
Participants at the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network Workshop, 22 - 25 February 2005, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Cambodia Dr Hean Vanhan Chief Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Office (PPPSO), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) # 14, Monireth Street, Toul Svay Prey II Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Office Tel: 855-23-218494 Mobile : 855-12-818216 Fax: 855-23-216655 E-mail: vanhan@mobitel.com.kh

PR China

Mr Gui YuLi Senior Engineer Forest Pest and Disease Control, Guangxi Qixing #133, Nanning, PR China 530022 Tel: 86-771-2815548 Fax: 86-771-2824494 E-mail: gxpest@gxly.cn Dr Jian Guo Vice-Director General Haikou Forestry Administration No. 16 Sanheng Road, Guomao District Hainan Province, PR China 570125 Tel: 86-898 68593025 Fax: 86-898-68593034 E-mail: jguo58@yahoo.com


Appendix I: List of Participants

Dr Jian Wu Deputy Director-General State Forestry Administration of China, Department of Afforestation 18 Hepingli East Street, Beijing 100714 PR China Tel: 86-10-84238513 Fax: 86-10-84238512 E-mail: jianwu@forestry.gov.cn Mr Jitong Luo Vice-master Senior Engineer Forest Pest and Disease Control Qixing # 133, Nanning, Guangxi, PR China Tel: 86-771-2815548 Fax: 86-771-2824494 E-mail: gxpest@gxly.cn Mr Peng Zhengqiang Researcher Environment and Plant Protection Institute Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) Baodao Xincun, Danzhou City 571737 Hainan Province, PR China Tel: 86-898-23300243 Fax: 86-898-23304892 E-mail: lypzhq@163.com Mr Qin Changsheng Senior Engineer Guangdong Forestry Research Institute Longdong, Guangzhou, PR China Tel: 86-20-87034160 E-mail: keylab@sti.gd.cn

Appendix I: List of Participants


Dr Sun Jianghua Research Entomologist Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 25 Beisihuan Xilu, Beijing 100080 PR China Tel: 86-10-62576047 Fax: 86-10-62565689 E-mail: sunjh@panda.ioz.ac.cn Dr Wan FangHao Executive Director Center for Management of Invasive Alien Species, Ministry of Agriculture, P.R. China, 12, Zhong Guan Cun, Nan-DaJie, Beijing 100081, PR China Tel: 86-10-68975297 Mobile: 86-136-01393051 E-mail: wanfh@cjac.org.cn


Mr Wilco J.M.M. Liebregts Managing Director Eco-Consult Pacific P.O. Box 5406, Raiwaqa P.O., Suva, Fiji Tel/Fax: 679-3322607 E-mail: ecoconsult@connect.com.fj


Mr K.K. Chaudhuri Director Forest Research Institute Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education P.O. New Forest, Dehra Dun 248006, India Tel: 91-135-2755277 Fax: 91-135-2756865 E-mail: kkc@icfre.org


Appendix I: List of Participants

Dr R.V. Varma Programme Coordinator Forest Protection Division Kerala Forest Research Institute Peechi, 680653 Thrissur, Kerala India Tel: 91-487-2699037 Fax: 91-487-2699249 E-mail: rvvarma@kfri.org


Dr Ponniah Rethinam Executive Director Asia and Pacific Coconut Community 3rd Floor, Lina Building Jl. H. R. Resuna Said Kav. B-7 Kuningan, Jakarta 12920 Indonesia E-mail: apcc@indo.net.id


Dr A. Sivapragasam Deputy Director/Head Pests and Disease Management Program Malaysia Agricultural Research & Development Institute (MARDI) Rice and Industrial Crops Center, MARDI, G.P.O. Box 12301, 50774 Malaysia Tel: 60-3-89437427 Fax: 60-3-89425786 E-mail: sivasam@mardi.my

Appendix I: List of Participants


Dr Loke Wai Hong Regional Representative CAB International South East Asia Regional Centre, Glasshouse No. 2 (Block G) MARDI 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: 60-3-089432921 Fax: 60-3-89436400 E-mail: loke@cabi.org Dr Sim Heok Choh Executive Director of APAFRI APAFRI Secretariat c/o Forest Research Institute Malaysia Kepong, 52109, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 60-3-62722516 Fax: 60-3-62773249 E-mail: simhc@frim.gov.my; sim@apafri.org Dr Soetikno S. Sastroutomo Senior Project Officer CAB International South East Asia Regional Centre, Glasshouse No. 2 (Block G) MARDI 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: 60-3-089432921 Fax: 60-3-89436400 E-mail: s.soetikno@cabi.org


Ms Monina G. Torres-Uriarte Assistant Director Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, Collage, Laguna 4031, Philippines Tel: 63-49-5367746 Fax: 63-49-5362850 E-mail: erdbdast@laguna.net


Appendix I: List of Participants


Dr Chalerm Sindhusake Senior Entomologist Plant Protection Research and Development Office, Department of Agriculture (DOA) Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak Bangkok 10900, Thailand Tel: 662 940 5651 Fax: 662 940 5650 E-mail: chalerms@asiaaccess.net.th


Mr Gary K. H. Man AsiaPacific Program Coordinator USDA Forest Service International Programs 1099 14th Street NW, Suite 5500W Washington DC 20005, USA Tel: 1-202-273 4740 Fax: 1-202-273 4750 E-mail: gman@fs.fed.us

Viet Nam

Mr Duong Minh Tu Director Technical Plant Quarantine Centre Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Plant Protection 149 Ho Dac Di, Dong Da, Hanoi Viet Nam Tel: 84-4-8513746 Fax: 84-4-8574719 E-mail: duongminhtu@hn.vnn.vn

Appendix I: List of Participants


Mr Tran Minh Tri Deputy Director-General Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry HA MINH, Investment and Business Consultants Inc. (IBCI), 30B Ba Trieu St., Hanoi, Viet Nam Tel: 84-4-9361412 Fax: 84-4 9361411 E-mail: ibci@netnam.vn Dr Tran Tan Viet Deputy Dean and Entomologist Nong Lam University (UAF), Ho Chi Minh City Faculty of Agronomy, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam Tel: 84-8-7220259 Fax: 84-8-8960713 E-mail: trantanviet@hcm.vnn.vn


Dr Sim Heok Choh Executive Director Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutes Forest Research Institute Malaysia Kepong, 52109, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 60-3-62722516 Fax: 60-3-62773249 E-mail: simhc@frim.gov.my


Mr Vu Ngoc Tien Programme Assistant FAO Representation 3 Nguyen Gia Thieu Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam Tel: 84-4-9424208 Fax: 84-4-9423257 E-mail: tien@fao.org.vn


Appendix I: List of Participants

Dr S. Appanah National Forest Programme Advisor FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200 Thailand Tel: 66-2-6974136 Fax: 66-2-6974445 E-mail: simmathiri.appanah@fao.org Dr Peter A.C. Ooi IPM and Agro-biodiversity Expert FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand Tel: 66-2-6974102 Fax: 66-2-6974402 E-mail: peter.ooi@fao.org