A project team led by Murdoch University along with project partners James Cook University, Queensland Museum and CSIRO has been awarded $791,882 Australian Government funding to develop a machine-based learning platform for fast invasive ant detection and recognition.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Murdoch University-led project was one of 19 successful projects of the $13 million Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions Competitive Grant Round.
“The aim of this program is to research and advance breakthrough solutions to control of some of our worst established pest animals and weeds, including fall armyworm and prickly acacia,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Technologies could be adapted to control other pest and weed species, providing a broader suite of control options for integrated pest and weed management
“Grant round projects will also assist in overcoming emerging issues such as herbicide resistance and provide more effective alternatives for controlling pests such as hive beetles.
“Our native species will also benefit through a reduction in pest and weeds that predate and/or compete for resources.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said he was delighted the project had been successful in its application for funding.
“I congratulate this local team of innovators whose project will deliver significant benefits for our farmers, the environment and rural and our communities,” Mr Entsch said.
“The annual national cost of established vertebrate pest animals is estimated at $800 million, and more than $4 billion for weeds.”
Further details on the grant round and a list of successful applicants is at: www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/pest-animals-and-weeds/grant-round