Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus May Control Australia's 'River Rabbit'

Date:
September 8, 2006
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
CSIRO scientists are investigating a potential new biological control agent that could hold the key to eradicating one of the nation's most invasive aquatic pests -- carp.

Australian Animal Health Laboratory biocontainment technician, Neil Slater, displays a good sized carp he recently caught.
Credit: Image courtesy of CSIRO Australia

CSIRO scientists are investigating a potential new biological control agent that could hold the key to eradicating one of the nation’s most invasive aquatic pests – carp.

Researchers at CSIRO Livestock Industries’ Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong – with the Department of Primary Industries Victoria – are investigating Koi herpesvirus as a means of controlling the introduced fish.

Project leader Dr Mark Crane says the virus, which first emerged in Israel in 1998*, caused mass mortalities in carp in the US, the UK, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan and Indonesia. So far the virus does not appear to have reached Australia.

Supported with $355,000 from the newly formed Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, the two-year project will investigate the effectiveness of Koi herpesvirus in controlling strains of carp present in Australia and will examine whether the virus will have any impact on certain native fauna.

“All testing will be done within the secure biocontainment facilities at CSIRO AAHL,” Dr Crane says.
Dr Crane says while carp are a valuable resource in Asian countries, in Australia the fish is generally viewed as a major pest.

“Given their reproductive capacity and their hardiness, carp have been termed the ‘rabbit of the river’.”

Carp were introduced into Australia in the early 1900s as a food and sporting fish. During extensive flooding in the 1970s the fish escaped from farm dams and took over the waterways. They can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures, salinity and pH levels. Carp can also survive and breed in polluted, poorly oxygenated water.

“The fish grow to up to 20 kilograms or more in weight and each female can lay up to three million eggs in a single season,” Dr Crane says. “In some areas of south-eastern Australia carp make up more than 85 per cent of the fish in the rivers and creeks.

“The virus works by attacking the carp’s gills as well as other vital organs and eventually killing its host. Koi herpesvirus is attractive as a biological control agent as overseas studies suggest that it has a very limited host range, infecting only carp.

“If the laboratory studies show promise, the next step will be extensive government, public and industry consultation to determine the best course of action to control carp, while protecting and restoring Australia’s valuable waterways,” Dr Crane says.

The project is part of a larger pest fish control program under the Invasive Animals CRC and 50-year Native Fish Strategy at the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Other technologies being developed in the pest fish program include ‘daughterless’ technology, carp-specific biocides, pheromone and sensory attractants.

“It is anticipated that if these technologies are proven to be effective and safe, they will be applied on-ground in an integrated pest fish control program for the Murray-Darling Basin,” Dr Crane says.

*Earlier outbreaks occurred in UK in 1996 but the first scientific reports appeared following the outbreaks in Israel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Virus May Control Australia's 'River Rabbit'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060908000617.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2006, September 8). Virus May Control Australia's 'River Rabbit'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060908000617.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Virus May Control Australia's 'River Rabbit'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060908000617.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins