pest detection

Use of forensic genetics to detect a potential incursion of the brushtail possum onto Great Barrier Island

The brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a widespread introduced pest in New Zealand. Some hair and faecal remains suspected to be from a possum were found on a vehicle transport barge in port at Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf (North Island, New Zealand), an island that has historically remained possum free. So that appropriate action could be taken, we used forensic genetics to confirm the species, number, and sex of the individuals that may have disembarked at the island.