There is an ongoing risk that newly introduced and captive exotic animals could form established populations in South Australia and become pests.
Pest animals impact our agriculture and forestry industries by damaging crops, plantations and attacking livestock. For example, the red-whiskered bulbul, a bird introduced to Australia in1880, has only recently been sighted in South Australia and now poses a major threat to our state’s fruit production.
Pest animals can also act as pathways and reservoirs for diseases, posing risks to public safety.
These animals impact on native species and ecosystems through resource competition and predation. The red-eared slider turtle for example, has esptablished populations in other areas of Australia but has not yet been found in South Australia. This introduced species is outcompeting native turtles for food and habitat.
It is vital potential pest species are identified and detected early to stop them spreading into our environment. To reduce this risk these animals need to be declared which means they can’t be traded or released in South Australia.
Declared animals are listed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004, are not native to Australia and pose a risk to our environment, economy and social amenities.
The State Government is in the process of reforming natural resources management legislation. A new bill, the Landscape SA Bill, is expected to be introduced into Parliament in early 2019. This bill aims to replace the current NRM Act and is likely to include similar provisions for pest animal declarations. It is anticipated current NRM Act policies will be reflected in the new act.