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Forest Invasive Species: Country Report - P. R. China

Sun Jianghua
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Basic forestry information

In China, total designated forest land covers 263.3 million hectares, although only 163.5 million hectares is actually forested. Natural forest accounts for 118.4 million hectares, while plantation forests cover slightly more than 45 million hectares. Around 52 percent of the forests are coniferous (29.6 percent of forests are of Pinus species), and 48 percent of forests are predominantly broadleaved species. Around 62 percent of forests are designated as predominantly timber forests, with 13 percent comprising various shelter protection forests, and the remainder spread among fuelwood and multiple/special purpose forests. Forest land covers around 17 percent of the national land area, with an estimated stocking volume of 12.5 billion cubic metres.

Overall, China is a country with relatively scarce forest resources, due to the low stocking volume in most of its forests and the large portion of pure plantations. China has an average forest area of 0.12 hectares per person and stocking volume of 8.6 m3 per person, which represent 21 percent and 12 percent of the world average, respectively. The forest areas are not evenly distributed throughout the country, with 30.9 percent of forest land cover being found in 11 eastern provinces, which is 1.9 times higher than the national average. Conversely, 12 provinces in the western region only have an average forest cover of 11.99 percent of forest land cover, which is 5 percent less than the national average. Monocultural plantations account for some 90 percent of the national forests, which may result in ecological problems and affect the full ecological and economic potential of the forests.

In 1998, China began the implementation of six major national programmes:

Over 10.5 million hectares of trees have been planted to date, some 173 400 hectares of forest have been reserved for the strict protection programme, while the number of natural reserves has reached to 1 405. In addition, over 95 million hectares of forests were protected to some degree as a result of the Natural forest protection project and logging has been reduced to a reasonable level.

General overview of forest invasive species in the country

China is a vast country with rich biodiversity in various forest ecosystems and vast areas of large monospecific plantations. This makes the country vulnerable to invasive species. There are over 8 000 known forest pests in China, including insects, diseases and rodents. Of these pests, there are 5 020 species of insects, 2 918 different types of disease, and 160 species of rodents. Significant accomplishments have been achieved in the management of these major forest pests as a result of national and provincial control projects initiated by the State Forestry Administration. Six national control projects are currently being implemented - three of which are for exotic pests, namely pinewood nematode, red turpentine beetle and fall webworm.

As China’s economy continues to expand rapidly, with trade becoming more global, the incidence of invasions has greatly increased. These occur in many forest ecosystems and have caused, or are causing, tremendous loss or damage in terms of economic and ecological values. Half of the most damaging forest pests are exotic pests occurring over an area of 1.3 million hectares and killing over 10 million trees per year. It is estimated that exotic pests result in about 56 billion RMB (US$6.7 billion) in losses annually, in terms of economic, ecological and social losses. Both the government and the general public are becoming concerned about the threats posed by alien invasive species. It is recognized that the magnitude of this problem necessitates increased efforts to reduce the incidence and impact of forest pest invasions.

Pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner et Buhrer)

Pinewood nematode (PWN) is native to North America and has been introduced to Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Portugal. PWN was originally found in Nanjiang in 1982 and has expanded its range since then. It is currently reported in counties in Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hubei and Shandong provinces, in addition to its known distributions in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is a good example of how an exotic pest can prove costly to the exporting country (the United States of America in this case), as well as the importing countries. Although PWN is causing damage to forests in China, Japan and South Korea, the damage it has caused in the United States of America has been in the loss of exports and quarantine costs.

PWN generally does not damage pines native to North America, but has a very wide range of hosts in China, mainly pines. PWN has been isolated in 49 species of host trees under natural conditions and another 21 species have been infected in trials using artificial inoculation, indicating that there are some 70 potential host species. PWN is also called "pine cancer" in China because there is basically no cure for infected trees. Thus it poses a destructive threat to most pines in its range. Infected pines can be killed within 40 days and most die in 2-3 years following infection. The first signs of attack are red needles and a thinning of the crown, in the autumn, after infestation during summer. The pinewood nematode is not capable of moving from tree to tree on its own. The main pathway for infestation is by transporting infested wood materials, while the main vector for natural spread in China is the sawyer beetle (Monochamus alternatus). This beetle is widely distributed in regions south of Hebei Province. The presence of this vector beetle in those regions greatly increases the likelihood of its natural spread. The PWN range has spread steadily, affecting 87 000 hectares and over 40 million pines have been killed to date. The direct economic loss is calculated to be 25 billion RMB (US$3 billion).

Due to its destructive nature, control of PWN is a high priority for the Chinese Government. PWN is currently ranked as the number one forest pest in the country. A national control project was implemented five years ago, with the direct involvement of the State Forestry Administration and relevant provincial forestry departments. The main measures implemented during this project include:

Experience has demonstrated these measures can be effective in bringing PWN under control.

Strict quarantine has also proven to be an effective tool to contain PWN spread, especially regarding the transport of wood materials out of the infested region. Immediate on-site quarantine and treatment measures are taken once a PNW infestion is discovered. Any logs or wood materials coming from a PWN control project can only be utilized locally, after effective PWN treatment, mostly by heat or fumigation. If logs or chips need to be transported out of the quarantine region - for fibreboard production - the State Forestry Administration is the only body authorized to issue transport permits. A special truck is used to transport the chips, which must be accompanied by an inspector along a designated route to the SFA-authorized fibreboard production plant. Quarantine checkpoints have been established, at exits to PWN quarantine regions, to stop any illegal or unprocessed pine wood materials leaving.

Application of these measures as part of an integrated pest management strategy has brought PWN infestations largely under control and has reduced the further spread and loss of pines. The area of the PWN infestations was reduced by some 6 000 hectares in 2002.

Red turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus valens (Le Conte)

Red turpentine beetle (RTB) is a common pest in North America; yet, despite the abundance and wide distribution of this beetle, destructive outbreaks have not been extensive or severe. However, since its first outbreak in 1999, in Shanxi Province, this exotic beetle has spread rapidly to the adjacent provinces of Hebei, Henan and Shaanxi, and has infested over 400 000 hectares of Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) stands (usually affecting stands aged 30 years or more) resulting in severe mortality. Nearly 10 million Chinese pines have been killed so far and it also appears to attack other pine species. Several consecutive years of drought have severely stressed its primary host species and contributed to the sudden outbreak. Historical records indicate that the RTB was introduced to China in the early 1980s, when unprocessed logs were imported from the west coast of the United States of America. This has been verified by a collaborative study between the Chinese Academy of Sciences, USDA Forest Service and Texas A&M University. Pines are a major reforestation species in China, and Chinese pine has been widely planted across much of the country, so the potential range and damage by this exotic beetle is overwhelming.

RTB reproduces once a year in China - the females usually bore into tree bark and commence feeding on the phloem. Generally untreated stumps, tree wounds, logging or oleoresin collection will increase RTB attack. The mechanism for beetle attack in China is different from in the United States of America, where the beetle frequently attacks injured or stressed trees. Also, it usually initiates an attack at the ground line and then colonizes a short distance both up and down the bark, i.e. to the upper roots and lower bole. However, in China, RTB attacks healthy trees and it has also been found extensively colonizing roots, where it overwinters. Due to this ability to overwinter in tree roots, and its overlapping generational structure, RTB is hard to effectively control with pesticides.

RTB received considerable attention from the SFA after its initial outbreak. Several teams were sent to the United States of America and a number of research teams from the USDA Forest Service were invited to China to exchange information and conduct joint research on the beetle. As a result of these exchanges, an action plan was developed and implemented. The measures taken to contain this beetle include:

International collaboration with RTB’s native country has contributed significantly to the effective management of this invasive and destructive species. Especially, the work on an RTB trapping programme conducted with the USDA Forest Service has proven to be effective. Currently joint DNA research is being conducted, in the US and China, to:

It is hoped that this work will address many of the basic questions related to the mechanism of this invasive species’ successful establishment and outbreak.

Fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury)

Fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury), is native to North America, but has since spread to many countries through human activities. It was first recorded in Liaoning Province, China in the 1970s, but has since spread to the eastern coastal provinces and part of Shaanxi Province. It has become a serious invasive pest to agricultural crops, forests and city ornamental trees due to its wide range of hosts. Fall webworm is a typical polyphagous defoliator; its host plants include shrubs, crops, vegetables, orchard trees, conifers and broadleaved trees, but it has a preference for broadleaved trees. A total of 175 species of plants are recorded on its host list in China.

Outbreaks of this moth in China have caused serious damage to local forests, including some valuable ornamental trees. The web formed by its larvae during feeding is a nuisance, especially on city ornamental trees. In most cases, during outbreaks, the feeding larvae defoliate all leaves on a tree, which damages its aesthetic value in cities, while its larvae crawl around, sometime into buildings becoming a nuisance to humans. The cost of controlling the moth is steadily increasing. An estimated 20 million RMB (US$2.4 million) were spent in control measures in Liaoning Province alone in 1998.

The moth can complete two generations per year - sometimes three in certain ranges - resulting in overlapping generations. It overwinters as pupae and the adult emerges in late-April. Adult moths are very strongly attracted to light and can fly about 100 meters, during which flight the moth pre-selects a host plant for mating and oviposition. Fecundity is very high for this moth, with an average of 800-900 eggs per female. The larval stage lasts about 40 days and has aggregation phenomena. Pupating usually occurs under a roof, in crevices, the corners of walls, rubble, or the crevices of tree trunks. The overwintering generation usually sustains high mortality due low temperatures, disease, predators and parasites - a mortality rate of 70-80 percent has been reported.

There are several ways to conduct damage surveys and detection for the moth. The simplest method involves surveying the webs. Population monitoring is mainly conducted using black light trapping or pheromone trapping.

An effective and cost-efficient management plan has been developed over the past 20 years, since fall webworm’s introduction to China. The measures employed in this management plan include:

In 1999, a national control project for the moth was initiated by the SFA to control its further spread and reduce its population around Beijing, Tianjing and Hebei provinces. The main priority of the project is to prevent its expansion into Beijing. The project covers 35 700 hectares of fall webworm infested areas. The main tactics used include black light trapping and pheromone trapping in conjunction with the measures listed above. The use of chemical pesticides has not been allowed during this project. Preliminary results indicate that the infestation has been significantly reduced from some 33 000 hectares prior to the project, to some 7 000 hectares now. The movement of the fall webworm infestation towards Beijing has been pushed back some 20 kilometre in the east to Tianjin.

Japanese pine needle scale, Hemiberlesia pitysophila Takagi

Japanese pine needle scale is native to Japan and belongs to the family Diaspididae. It was first reported in Taiwan, and then spread to Macao. From there it spread into Guangdong, China in 1982. It was recorded in Fujian Province, in 2001.

The Pinus genus is the host for Japanese pine needle scale, with its primary host being mason pine (Pinus massoniana). It attacks saplings and mature trees aged 20-30 years, causing mortality to most of the infested pines. The average loss of volume resulting from attack by this scale is approximately 2.7 cubic meters per hectare, with a reduction in oleoresin production of approximately 900 kilograms per hectare. Two to three years of consecutive attacks usually result in large-scale pine mortality. In Guangdong Province alone, some 180 000 hectares of pines have been killed by Japanese pine needle scale, to date. Currently 1.23 million hectares of pines are infested in both Guangdong and Fujian provinces.

Japanese pine needle scale mainly feeds on the basal sheath of old needles. It also attacks the tender sections of the middle and bottom of the terminal, as well as fresh cones and young needles. Generally only a small portion of the nymphae hatched in the spring feed on the base of needles, while the majority feed on the old terminal sheaths from the previous year. The nymphae hatched after July feed on the current year’s terminal. Japanese pine needle scale can produce five generations per year. After settling in a suitable habitat, the immature nymphae live a fixed life on the host. The males can mate several times, with oviposition lasting a long time, but the egg stage is very short, so there is generational overlapping.

Monitoring of this scale mainly relies on random surveying and shoot sampling. The wind-direction side of a pine is selected and examined for the following symptoms: dead branches at the bottom of the trees; yellow top needles; and traces of scales at the base of new needles, the sheath or outside the sheath, at the base of current year’s terminal, and among fresh cones.

Guangdong and Fujian provincial governments have made considerable efforts to control the scale and have established a Japanese pine scale control office to coordinate the various control works. Funding for research on this scale has been secured from both the central and provincial governments, and has involved over 100 researchers, including international cooperative projects. A comprehensive control action plan has been implemented, with measures including:

All of the above measures have contributed to success in management of the Japanese pine needle scale.

Use of the natural enemy Coccobius azumai is considered to be the most effective and environmentally friendly method. This wasp reproduces rapidly with nine to ten generations per year. The parasitism can be as high as 20 - 30 percent, resulting in a reduction of the average density of female Japanese pine needle scales to below 0.3 - 0.6 per branch of needles. This parasite had been released over an area of some 1 million hectares by 1998. However, the scale population recently resurged due to a lapse in the continuous work on the parasite, partly due to a shortage in the supply of the parasite. The governments of Guangdong and Fujian provinces immediately organized a visit to Japan in May 2002, to collect and reintroduce Coccobius azumai, to reinforce the field population of the parasite.

Crofton weed, Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng

Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng (Compositae) is a tufty, semi-shrubby, perennial herbaceous plant of about 1 - 2m in height. It is known, locally in China, as liberation weed, black head weed and evil weed. Its reproductive capacity and ecological adaptive capacity are strong and it grows very fast. It is native to Central America, mainly Mexico, although it is now distributed widely in the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand and many countries of southeastern Asia. E. adenophorum was introduced to southern parts of Yunnan province from Burma in 1940s and has continued to spread from southwest to northeast at a rate of about 20 kilometres per year. It is now diffusely distributed throughout Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangxi and Tibet, and continues to spread towards the north and east of China.

This exotic weed prefers a warm and wet environment, but its ability to adapt to different environmental conditions is very strong. It can grow in environments with temperature ranges from 5oC to 42oC. It grows on dry and barren hills, and can even grow in cracks in stone walls and houses. However, it grows more vigorously in a fecund soil. It has a shallow rooting system spreading horizontally in the topsoil.

E. adenophorum propagates mainly by seed, with each plant producing 30 000 - 45 000 seeds, and sometimes as many a 100 000 seeds. E. adenophorum maintains and spreads its population along rivers and roads, mainly by means of its abundant seed. Wind, flowing water, vehicles, people and livestock are mediums for spreading E. adenophorum. Seed germination requires light, but its seedlings can grow in shady environments, which is an advantage to its invasiveness into other plant communities. It is also capable of asexual reproduction. Its root and stem can differentiate an adventitious root, which can then grow in the soil. The root system of E. adenophorum excretes an allelopathic substance that restrains the growth and development of other plant species around it. Allelopathy is one of the important reasons why the plant is so highly competitive.

E. adenophorum invades pastures and wild lands suitable for forest. It can have an immense impact on forest regeneration and growth. It poses an increasing threat to livestock, forest regeneration and ecosystems in its range. Its pollen and pappus can cause allergic (anaphylaxis) reactions in some people.

Several research and control projects are currently being implemented on the management and control of this weed. A comprehensive action plan, based on integrated management, has been developed in Yunnan, with the aim of containing its spread and to eradicate it. The integrated management approach being implemented consists of the following control measures:

Additional research is being conducted on the utilization of this weed as a raw material for panelboard, for bio-insecticide extraction, as a feedstock after detoxifying, to produce gas by fermentation, as a culture for mushrooms, and as a raw material for essential oil extraction. Progress has been achieved in some of these areas.

Strategies and policies for management of forest pest invasions

Given the tremendous potential impact of forest invasions and current forest programmes in China, the main theme for tackling this problem is prevention and early detection, backed by integrated management. This is in line with national eco-environment development programmes - including the six major forestry projects - to support the country’s sustainable development. The problem of alien invasive species has received considerable attention at all levels of government, with the main emphasis on cooperation between the relevant agencies and international collaboration. The establishment of an efficient early warning and detection programme to actively pursue exclusion - with legal and regulatory support to inspection and quarantine - has also been a priority. Extensive monitoring has also been given priority, as it is essential in any programme where the objective is to prevent the establishment of new invaders.

Intensive basic research on exotic pests - such as good biological information on the pest concerned - that can be used to guide decision-making, monitoring and detection techniques, needs to be developed. The goal is to build an efficient and broad early warning and detection system to achieve exclusion or early detection leading to the eradication of potential invaders. A comprehensive database on forest exotics is being compiled, in collaboration with Chinese Academy of Sciences. This database presently contains information on some 400 species.

Legislation and regulatory procedures regarding quarantine, inspection, and intentional introduction of plants or animals need to be strengthened, with more attention to risk assessment before approval and follow-up monitoring after introduction. Efforts are underway to strengthen on-site quarantine inspection and domestic quarantine for established exotic pests, in order to prevent their further spread. However, new legislation is also required to better combat exotic pests, including restricting the use of alien species in protected areas, while promoting the use of native species in reforestation programmes, and a mandatory requirement for scientific trials and risk assessment prior to large-scale planting of exotic trees.

More than 1 000 forest-pest monitoring and detection centres have been established at county level and a further 8 000 monitoring stations have been set up across the country. These centres and stations can monitor both native and exotic forest pests all year round, to enable early detection.

A number of national control programmes for alien invasive species have been implemented throughout the country. These programmes are starting to yield some positive results.

In order to coordinate the work on forest invasive species, the National Forest Exotics Office and the Identification and Inspection Center for Forest Exotics were established in 2003, under the SFA. Both bodies have appropriate authority and clearly defined functions.

Strengthening the coordination and information sharing between the relevant government agencies for forestry, agriculture, trade, environmental protection and research institutions in dealing with forest invasive species is very important. It is also important to strengthen regional and international cooperation

It is recognized that public awareness plays a key role in combating invasive species, TV, newspapers, internet and other forms of media are being utilized to inform and educate the general public on the impacts of invasive species.

Legislation and regulations on forest invasive species

A series of laws and regulations has been enacted regarding forest invasive species, these include:

The State Forestry Administration has also issued a total of 70 regulations, standards or policy documents associated with forest invasive species, an example of which is the Notice on Further Strengthening Prevention and Management of Forest Invasive Species (2002). Besides, some local provincial governments have issued local legislation or regulations associated with forest invasive species. For example, Temporary Management Tactics for Pinewood Nematode (1989) Jiangsu Province. Similar regulations or acts have also been issued by Anhui Province in 2001 and Guangdong Province in 2002.

Forest invasive species: country report - Fiji

Inoke Wainqolo and Visone Timote
Fijian Forestry Department Fiji Quarantine Inspection Service


Fiji is an archipelago consisting of 320 islands, scattered over 1.3 million square kilometres of the South Pacific Ocean. The islands vary in sizes from 1 million hectares, to tiny islets, and have a total area of 1.83 million hectares. The population of Fiji is concentrated on the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Figure 1: Map of Fiji

The forestry sector is one of the Economic Services sectors of the Republic of Fiji Islands along with agriculture, fisheries, tourism, mineral resources and manufacturing sectors. The forestry sector contributes 2.5 percent of GDP and about F$50 million (US$27.6 million) in foreign exchange export earnings, annually. The sector rates as fifth most significant after tourism, sugar, gold and fish. Earnings from the sector have huge potential for growth and expansion with the utilization of the Vanua Levu pine resource and the harvesting, processing and marketing of some 37 500 hectares of mahogany plantations, managed in accordance with environmentally sound and sustainable practices. The sector currently provides direct employment to more than 3 000 people.

The sector functions through mutual trust and cooperation among a diverse group of stakeholders. The most significant "players" are the landowners, who own more than 83 percent of the total land mass and almost the entire natural forest cover. The Native Land Trust Board (NLTB) has statutory powers, as custodians of all customary-owned lands, to deal in native land matters. The pine and hardwood plantations have mainly been established by the government on land, leased from native landowners. The loggers and sawmillers are mostly private individuals or companies who harvest indigenous logs under license and process and market timber products. The Forestry Department is charged with managing a resource it does not own or have full control over. At the same time, the Forestry Department is required to maintain a balance between production and protection and conservation functions of forests.

Quarantine overview

Quarantine has obviously become important on a national, regional and international scale. Fiji becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has established bilateral quarantine agreements with other trading countries. Our obligation is to take into account the principles of plant and animal quarantine whenever making management decisions. The vital role of the Fiji Agriculture Quarantine Division is to provide protection against the entry of unwanted pests, diseases and weeds into Fiji, while at the same time permitting the flow of international trade and to assist in the conservation of flora and fauna.

The Fiji Agriculture Quarantine Division is responsible for the exclusion, from Fiji, of exotic pests and diseases of plants and animals or parts thereof, assessed to be dangerous to agriculture, horticulture, forestry and livestock industries. Due to its relative isolation, Fiji is relatively free of harmful and serious pests and diseases known to occur in other parts of the world. This has only been possible through stringent import quarantine requirements, conditions and strict quarantine awareness and surveillance.

Agriculture quarantine division - border control




Produce inspection

Quarantine Officers are responsible for the official visual examination of plants, forestry products and other regulated agricultural related articles to determine if pests and diseases are present and/or to determine compliance with Phytosanitary regulations.

Phytosanitary certificates

International Phytosanitary Certificates are issued by the governments of exporting countries to indicate that consignments of plants, plant products and other agricultural regulated items meet the phytosanitary regulations of the government of the importing country. There are three types of phytosanitary certificates:

The certificates are used to indicate conformance with the phytosanitary regulations of the importing country.

Invasive species in Fiji

Despite these strict quarantine measures, Fiji still has some problems with invasive species. Table 1 gives an overview of the most important invasive species.

Table 1: The most import alien invasive species in Fiji



Fruit flies (Bactrocera passiflorea, B. xanthodes, B. kirki, B. obscura, B. distincta, B. gentum)

Significant losses in production and their presence results in quarantine restrictions being imposed on fruits and vegetable export commodities.

Taro Beetle (Papuana huebneri)

A significant loss in production of up to 48 percent in taro beetle infested areas and drastically reduces market value of taro.


African tulip (Spathodea campanulate)

Reduced planting spaces and long, deep rooting system hinders cultivation for arable land use and development.

Animal diseases

Tuberculosis/Brucellosis on cattle

High costs of meat for consumers due to huge meat imports from New Zealand. A highly dangerous and zoonotic disease for humans in the Pacific region, due to cultural norms (that is slaughtering without a meat inspector).


Rats (Rattus rattus), (R. exulans),
(R.norvegicus), (R. musculus)

Damage mature coconut groves and destroying one-third of the total potential copra at various stages in its preparation.

Indian mongoose (Rallus phillopensis)

A recent archeological work on Fiji (Worthy et al. 1999) reveals many extinct species of birds and reptiles due to this invasive species.

Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus)
Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

These invasive birds are known to be very territorial thus taking charge of breeding areas for other wildlife. They are also known to cause havoc at small-scale fruit and vegetable farms, eating fruits and newly emerging seedlings.

Management efforts

Fruit flies (Bactrocera passiflorea, B xanthodes, B kirki, B obscura, B distincta and B gentum)

With the assistance from the Fruit Fly Management Project of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, together with the Research and Quarantine Divisions of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji was able to adopt and use protein and insecticides to attract and kill fruit flies that are present in Fiji. Export farm crops are sprayed with a protein-insecticide mix to attract, and at the same time kill, fruit flies. The presence of fruit flies in the country invariably results in quarantine restrictions being imposed on horticultural products that are destined for export. Export commodities also go through the Hot Treated Forced Air treatment at Nadi before being shipped overseas. The Quarantine Division has also incorporated the use of fruit fly traps in their surveillance and monitoring border control projects around the country, in order to detect any new incursions.

Taro beetle (Papuana huebneri)

Awareness campaigns have been held throughout Fiji to educate the general public and farmers on the disastrous impact of taro beetle (Papuana huebneri) on taro yields and the importance of not planting or transferring infected planting material from infected areas to non-infected areas. Planting material or "host plants" include plants belonging to following orders: Arales, Zingiberasles, Bromeliales, Pandanales and Solanales. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, in cooperation with the Research and Quarantine Divisions of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji will soon commence with an eradication programme for the beetle.

African tulip (Spathodea campanulata)

Initial investigations into the invasive species Spathodea campanulata have been undertaken by the Ministry of Forestry over the past few years. These included: chemical control, biological and cultural control and research of the basic wood properties of the species to investigate commercial uses. It was found that a 25 percent solution of TORDON 50D was sufficient to kill the tree. There are currently no known biological control agents, although the Ministry of Forestry is looking at possibilities with various African wildlife ministries and other counterpart agencies, where this species is known to be invasive. As for cultural control, it is suggested that the trees be cut down, with the complete removal of plant stems, roots and branches, which should be dried before burning. Preliminary tests indicate that the wood of Spathodea campanulata can be utilized in non-load bearing applications, such as wall paneling, furniture and in light construction.

Awareness campaigns

There are few specific awareness programmes in place, in reference to individual invasive species. However, at the moment, generic awareness responsibilities and functions are vested in the Fiji Agriculture Quarantine Service to be incorporated in their quarantine awareness programmes. During these generic awareness programmes, specific resource personnel are invited to make presentations in regard to their areas of speciality regarding these invasive pests and diseases.

The production of the awareness materials for the pests and diseases are done in consultation with quarantine, respective pest and disease specialists, and at times with organizations such as FAO, SPC, and other non-governmental organizations.

The main awareness programmes and publications produced include:

Appendix: Management aspects for the general emergency response plan for plant pest and disease incursions in Fiji.



Chairperson, ERMC

· Puts the Emergency Response Plan into action.
· Overall management of the programme.

Emergency Response Management Committee (ERMC)

· Discusses recommendations from the Technical Adviser (TA) after delimiting survey and decides on further action.
· Appoints Operations Manager and Field Controller.
· Quorum (5): Chairperson or Deputy, Chief Quarantine Officer (Plants), representative of affected province or island, representative of private sector and/or government body dealing with the affected commodity, TA.

Head of Quarantine
(Deputy Chairperson)

· Acts in the absence of the Chairperson.
· Commits the resources of the Quarantine Department to the problem.

Director, National Disaster Programme

· Commits the resources of the organization to the problem.

Chief Quarantine Officer (Plants)

· Alerts Chairperson to a suspected pest incursion.
· Reports to ERMC during operational phase.
· Ensures that all management plans conform to relevant legislation.
· Notifies SPC of suspected new pest.


· appointed by and reporting to Chief Quarantine Officer (Plants).

· Collects samples and organizes identification of samples.
· Collects information.

Operations Manager:

· appointed by ERMC;
· located in the area where the new pest is present;
· should be in a position of local authority and possess management skills and administrative experience.

· Reports to Chief Quarantine Officer (Plants).
· Manages day-to-day operations.
· Oversees field operations.
· Checks resource requirements.
· Liaises with provincial authorities.
· Selects and appoints the response team(s).
· Briefs and trains response team(s) and Field Controller together with Technical Adviser.

Technical Adviser:

· appointed by Chairperson;
· reports to nobody to make sure that advise remains objective;
· located as required;
· has to be a recognized expert on the particular pest causing the incursion.

· Conducts delimiting survey.
· Submits report including response options, recommendations and tentative budgets to ERMC.
· Briefs and trains response team(s) and Field Controller together with Operations Manager.
· Provides technical advice to Chairperson, Chief Quarantine Officer (Plants), ERMC, Operations Manager, Field Controller, and operational teams.
· Periodically monitors operations.

Financial Controller:

· nominated by Head of Quarantine;
· reports to Operations Manager.

· Responsible for administration and finance.

Field Controller:

· appointed by ERMC;
· located on site full time;
· reports to Operations Manager;
· should possess agricultural background and management skills.

· Logistics.
· Day-to-day control of field operations.
· Liaises with district staff and stakeholders.

Field Teams:

· appointed by Operations Manager;
· report to Field Controller.

· Practical activities.

Forest invasive species: country report - India

Shekhar Kumar Niraj
Ministry of Environment and Forests


India is considered to be one of the 12 mega-biodiversity countries of the world. It has two important biodiversity hotspots, out of 18 in the world, located in the south and northeast parts of the country. It has a rich biodiversity, with diverse forest ecosystems such as the great moist evergreen forests of the southern tip of the Western Ghats in the south to the evergreen forests of northeast India. The diversity ranges from temperate and high mountain forests of the Himalayas in the North, to the desert and scrub forests in the west. There are dry deciduous and semi-moist deciduous forests in Central India, which transform to coastal forests and mangroves along the coasts and islands. Similarly, it has an extremely rich biodiversity among its wild fauna. India has nearly 64 million hectares of forests, which is nearly 20 percent of the geological area of the country. Five percent of its geographical area has been set aside in the country’s protected area network, with nearly 500 wildlife sanctuaries and 89 national parks spread throughout the country. In addition, it has 13 biosphere reserves located in various parts of the country. These biosphere reserves have been developed to facilitate the traditional co-existence of its forests and wildlife with human beings.

Unfortunately, some of these vital lifeforms are put at peril due to invasions by exotic or alien species that have been purposely introduced, or brought in inadvertently, from time-to-time. These invasions can cause extensive damage to natural ecosystems. Specific problems have been recorded in islands such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

Invasive species

An invasive species is a plant or animal that is, by origin, alien to the local ecosystem. The species grows or reproduces at a speed generally faster than indigenous species. Gradually, this species may become a dominant species and cause economic and ecological stress.

Invasions can occur through two sources - external or internal. Wherever humans have travelled, they have transported other animal and plant species with them. These may be as domesticated animals or plants, or of wild origin. Often these species have been deliberately released. Some of these introduced species become independently established over time, and start invading the habitats of other species.

With increases in international trade and travel - India - like any other country, is becoming increasingly exposed to the dangers of infiltration by potentially dangerous pests and diseases afflicting human beings, animal and/or plants that provide food, fibre and other means of economic and ecological prosperity.

There are several well-authenticated examples of major pests, which have invaded new areas and become established in India. These species, generally, do not have natural predators or enemies to challenge them. Hence they spread rapidly and establish permanently. Some travel as parasites (e.g. rats and mice) and some travel accidentally (e.g. mollusks, birds, insects) through various modes such as ships and planes.

In the past, several pests and pathogens have been introduced through seed materials imported into the country. Many of these pests have since become widespread. Several examples include downy mildew on sunflower, spotted wilt virus on tomato, peanut stripe virus on groundnut, apple scab from Europe, golden nematode and wart disease of potato from Europe, and the bacterial blight of paddy from East Asia. The bunchy top disease of banana was introduced to India from Sri Lanka in 1940. Now it occurs over practically all of Kerala and has been reported in many other states. Appendix 1 (to this paper) gives an overview of the invasive species found in India.

Species such as the giant snail (Achatina fulica) (introduced from Japan in many islands), two species of birds, Hava sparrow (Pedda oryzivora) and the common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), are examples of animals that have been introduced to India. The bullfrog (Rana catesbeina) has spread to India from Southeast Asia. Various species of tropical ornamental fishes and the caimen crocodile are potential threats to local species.

Lantana (Lantana camara), Ipomoea (Ipomoea carena), Casia tora and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) have established permanently as weeds in forests in almost all parts of the country. Lantana camara is native to South America, but was introduced to India and has since established itself in the wild. Lantana is a fire hazard in deciduous forests because of its ability to burn even when green. In many places, the Lantana undergrowth has affected the growth of teak plants, reducing the basal area increment by up to 33 percent. It is also known to harbour injurious insect pests, including malarial mosquitoes. The spread of the species has caused widespread problems, and the Union Government spends thousands of dollars every year to manually eradicate it from national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. However, the problem is far from being tackled satisfactorily. Complete eradication of Lantana over large areas is difficult and costly. Various methods, mechanical, cultural, chemical and biological have been tried to check Lantana.

Invasive forest insects

There are a number of invasive forest insect species that cause problems in India. The invasiveness of insects is governed by many features. Mayers (1987) suggests that success or failure of introduced insect outbreak densities depends on:

Exotic insects on exotic tree species

The classical example of an exotic insect invasion on an introduced tree species in India is that of Heteropsylla cubana (Homoptera: Psylidae) invading subabul (Leucaena leucocephala). The insect was first reported in Chengalpetu (Tamilnadu), South India, in 1988. By 1990, it had attacked all the Leucaena plantations in the country (Singh and Bhandari 1989; Singh, 1988; Misra, 1990).

Pineus laevis sp. (Homoptera: Adelgidae) was first introduced to India in the 1970s. It has caused severe damage to Pinus patula plantations in the Nilgiri hills of South India. The damage has been restricted to Pinus patula, because only trial plantations had been established. Its further spread has been contained by discontinuing the planting of P. patula (Anon, 1977).

Exotic insects on indigenous tree species

Icerya purchasi (Homoptera: Coccidae), the cottony cushion scale, was accidentally introduced into India in 1921. It damages Acacia decurrens and A. dealbata in addition to numerous other forestry and agricultural plant species. The scale has done serious damage to plants in the Nilgiri hills in South India, and in the Anamallai hills in Tamilnadu, and has since become well established throughout the country. Rodolia cardinatis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) was introduced for the control of this scale, and it has proven to be a very effective predator (Beeson, 1941). Quadraspidiotus perniciosus (Homoptera: Coccidae) (Beeson, 1941) or the San Jose scale is a native of China. It reached India in 1911, and by 1933 it had attained pest status in fruit orchards and plantations of poplars and willows. The San Jose scale also damages species of the following genera: Aesculus, Alnus, Betula, Celtis, Fagus, Fraxinus and Morus.

Plant quarantine in India

The Government of India took legislative steps in 1914, in order to protect its agricultural and forest species. In that same year, the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage was established to implement the new regulations. Plant Quarantine and Fumigation Stations were established at major airports, seaports and land frontier checkposts across the country.

The most important Acts to control and regulate the export and import of plants, seeds and animals and their products in the country are:

The Customs Department is the most important organization with regard to the enforcement of Acts relating to international movements of plants, seeds and animals. Customs, in cooperation with the CITES Assistant Management Authorities, the Department of Plant Quarantine and the Department of Animal Quarantine, are the operational organizations that enforce the laws in this regard.

International obligations

India is a member of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). It is also a signatory to the Plant Protection Agreement of the Asia-Pacific Plant Protection Convention (APPPC). The Agreement obliges countries to undertake adequate measures to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.

Strategy to combat the menace

When importing plant germplasm and animal matter, it is of utmost importance that no compromises are made on quarantine. There are 26 quarantine and fumigation stations located at ten airports, nine seaports and seven land frontiers in India. Unfortunately, it takes considerable time to establish a plant or animal quarantine facility when a new airport or seaport is established. As a result, the danger of entry of infected seed or plant material is always heightened with expansions.

The following additional steps need to be taken to improve India’s quarantine defences:


There has been practically no research carried out on the ecological, environmental or economic impacts of introduced or invasive species in India. Due to impending problems caused by species such as Chital (Axis axis), elephants, and the common mynah (Acridotheras tristis) in the island ecosystems of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, some studies have been conducted on these species impacts on the island environments. Such studies have, however, been mainly qualitative in approach.

Although India has been affected by the incursion of many alien invasive species, no systematic studies on the management, control or impacts of these species have been conducted. This is probably due to a lack of sensitivity to the issue, or insufficient political awareness - although, large sums of money are spent by various agencies each year to eradicate some of these invasive species.

A systematic and dedicated approach is required to tackle this growing phenomenon. Some of the steps may be as follows:

Appendix 1 - Pests believed to have been introduced into India



Date of
1st Record


Insect pests

Fluted scale
(Icerya purchasl)

Acacia spp.


Sri Lanka

San Jose scale
(Quadraspidiotus pernciosus)

Wild and cultivated plants



Wooly aphid
(Eriosoma lanigerum)




Codling moth
(Cydia pomonelia)




Coffee berry borer
(Hypothenemus hampel)



Sri Lanka


Leaf disease
(Hemileia vastatrix)



Sri Lanka

Late blight
(Phytophthora infestans)

Potato, tomato



(Puccinia carthami)



Japan or Europe

Flag smut
(Urocystis tritici)




Downy mildew
(Plasmopara viticola)




Downy mildew
(Pseudoperonos pora cubensis)



Sri Lanka

Downy mildew
(Sclerospora philippinensis)




Foot rot
(Fusarium moniliforme)



Southeast Asia

Leaf spot
(Phyliachora sorghi)



South Africa

Powdery mildew
(Oidium heveae)




Black shank
(Phytophthora parasitica)



Dutch East Indies

Fire blight
(Erwinia amylovora)

Pear and other pomes



Crown gall and hairy root
(Agrobacterium tumefaciens;
A. rhizogene)

Apple and pear



Bunchy top



Sri Lanka

(Sphaeropsis malorum)




(Synchytrium endobioticum)





Cyst nematodes -
(Globodera pailida;
G. rostochiensis)





Water hyacinth
(Eichhornia crassipes)



South America

(Lantana camara)



South America


Giant African snail
(Achatina fulica)




The invasion of Acacia nilotica in Baluran National Park, East Java, and its control measures

R. Garsetiasih and Hendrik Siubelan
Researcher of Forest and Nature Conservation Research and Development Centre, Bogor, Indonesia Head of Baluran National Park, East Java, Indonesia


The forests of Indonesia consist mainly of tropical rain forests. According to the forest land use classification by consensus, the TGHK (Tata Guna Hutan Kesepakatan), the total forest area is estimated to be 141.9 million hectares, which is about 74 percent of the total land area of Indonesia. The forest land is classified into four major utilization classes. These are protection forest (29.6 million hectares), conservation and recreation forest (19.2 million hectares), production forest (62.9 million hectares), and conservation forest (30 million hectares) (Ministry of Forestry, 1994). In order to manage its natural resources sustainably, the Indonesian Government, through the Ministry of Forestry (MoF) has gazetted some important areas as conservation areas.

One such area is Baluran National Park, which covers an area of 26 630 hectares, consisting of various different ecosystems ranging from coastal to mountain ecosystems. The park has a number of different vegetation types, such as mangrove, beach forest, deciduous forest, mountain forest and a savannah of 10 000 hectares. This paper looks at the effects of the introduction of Acacia nilotica to this national park and some of the measures taken in order to remove the species.

Besides this Acacia species, there are other alien invasive plant species that are a potential threat to Indonesia. These include: eceng gondok (Eichornia crassipes), klampis air (Mimosa pigra), ki rinyuh (Chromolaea oddorata), jarong (Stachytarpheta urticaefolia), tebu rawa (Hanguana sp.) and sidagori (Sidda acuta).

Acacia nilotica in Baluran National Park

Acacia nilotica, a native of Africa, was first introduced to Indonesia in 1850. It is used as fuelwood, cattle feed, the fruit is eaten and the tannins from the bark are used for preserving leather. It was originally planted in the Baluran National Park in 1969, as a firebreak. The tannins in the bark have an allelopathic affect on other vegetation; hence the underlying soil is cleared of undergrowth. Acacia nilotica is capable of growing at altitudes of up to 500 metres, can survive extreme temperature conditions such as very dry or flooded areas, and in various soil types.

Acacia nilotica is a very fast-growing species that has various modes of dispersal. The most important dispersal mechanism is through the faeces of herbivores. The species can spread at a rate of some 100-200 hectares per year. Since its introduction, the tree has invaded as much as 70 percent of the savannah area, severely affecting the grassland areas that form an important source of food for several large herbivores in the park.

Control measures

In order to control the spread of Acacia nilotica, mechanical measures such as pruning and weeding have been implemented since 1985. However, only 25-40 hectares per year can be cleared by mechanical means. This is only 20 percent of the total target area. This technique has proven to be insufficient in combating the spread of this tree species.

Research on additional control measures has been conducted by the Forest and Nature Conservation Research and Development Centre, Bogor. The research included: soil chemical characteristics in the savannah and the use of chemical control measures.

Based on results of the soil chemical analysis, there has been no significant change in the availability of N, P, K nutrients as a result of the change in vegetation on the savannah. The savannah ecosystem remains a relatively stable ecosystem, from the point of view of nutrient availability (Siregar and Samsoedin, 1997).

Research was also conducted on the use of the herbicide 720 Hc in several dosages i.e. 40 cc., 55 cc. and 75 cc. for each stand. All of the treatments killed Acacia nilotica (Table 1). There was no significant difference between the three applications of the herbicide, which indicates that the treatment with 40 cc. is the most efficient dosage. However, the soil at Baluran National Park has high F. reactivity rates in its clay minerals, so the herbicide is immediately absorbed through the surface of the colloids, resulting in the contamination of the soil by toxic materials from the herbicide. So the utilization of herbicides in the control of Acacia nilotica needs to be closely monitored.

Table 1: Mortality percentage of Acacia nilotica treated with herbicide 720 Hc.


class (cm)

Mortality Replication (percent)













10 - 14



















10 - 14



















10 - 14













The introduction of exotic species into conservation areas is an aspect that needs additional detailed study, especially with regard to the negative impacts. From an ecological point of view, the invasion of exotic species will change the natural ecosystem.


Alikodra H.S. 1987. The exotic Acacia (Acacia nilotica) and its problem to savannah’s ecosystem at Baluran National Park. Duta Rimba 79-80/XIII/1987.

Bismark M. 1988. The prospect of wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) captive breeding at Baluran National Park, East Java. Forest research Bulletin. Bogor.

Joesoef J.H. 1982. Introduction to Baluran national park. Duta Rimba 56/VIII/1982.

Nazif M. 1988. The trial of control of Acacia nilotica with herbicides Indamin 720 HC, Garlon 480 Ec and trusi at Baluran National Park. Forest Research Bulletin. Bogor.

Mirmanto E. and Partomihardjo T. 1986. The potencies and problems of Baluran National Park. Duta Rimba 75-76/XII/1986.

Samsoedin I. and Siregar C.A. 1997. The characteristic of soil chemical that invaded by Acacia nilotica at Baluran national Park, East Java. Discussion paper of the research results at Forest and Nature Conservation Research and development Centre. Bogor.

Nazif M., Santoso E. and Suharti M. 1987. The distribution of Acacia nilotica seedlings at Baluran National Park areas, East Java. Forest Research Bulletin, No. 490/1987.

Santoso E. and Suharti M. 1989. Cost analysis of Acacia nilotica controlling at Baluran National Park, East Java. Forest Research Bulletin, Bogor.

Ministry of Forestry. 1994. The Indonesia forestry statistics 1992-1993. Secretariat General of Ministry of Forestry, Jakarta.

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