The fruit growing season is nearly upon us and so are the ideal conditions for the Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF). The fly breeds at temperatures of 15°C and relies on the moist conditions of spring that are developing over the next few months. According to the BOM’s climate outlook estimates the Ballarat region will reach stable breeding temperatures into October. Furthermore, the BPG QFF group are launching our monitoring program not long after the recently published IPCC special report which projects a future of ongoing expansion of warmer and wet conditions from southern hemisphere tropical and sub-tropical regions further southward.
Now is an ideal time to join us in our monitoring program to assess how far south the Queensland Fruit fly comes and in what numbers they appear. Great numbers of fruit fly will threaten home and community gardening projects as well as agriculture in any region. We want to investigate the fly’s reach in Ballarat.
The problem facing us is that we do not know how bad the fruit fly problem is. Our Northern friends in the Sunraysia region of the state have been dealing with fruit fly migrations south through community fruit fly monitoring and prevention programs for many years now. This project also recognises the efforts of citizen scientists who have added fruit fly sightings on iNaturalist, with occasional sightings in the past year as well as the ongoing smaller monitoring programs by the state government. We think that we can enhance this already valuable data together by discovering the numbers of flies in monitoring traps with broad community support.
That’s why the BPG is inviting all members and interested citizens to help us find out what’s happening in their own backyards by hosting a trap. It’s a great project that brings us closer with local ecology and the importance of garden hygiene. This monitoring program will increase our collective knowledge of how we live in our region to confront climate change.
To register you interest please see the Queensland Fruit Fly page