New Zealand's native trees do not appeal to gypsy moth, according to the results of research commissioned by the
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to assess the risk posed by the exotic pest to New Zealand's forests.
Gypsy moths are native to Eurasia and severely damaged the oak forests of North America after its establishment there in
The research was undertaken to assess the risk of gypsy moth to key species of New Zealand's native forest. Nod Kay of
Forest Research conducted the research. It was carried out at a quarantine facility in France using New Zealand tree
species obtained from the plant collections of European institutions.
The results of the research show that native trees, such as totara and various species of beech, are comparatively
resistant to the moth and that the risk of the moth's establishment in these forests is low. However, introduced
Northern Hemisphere trees such as oak, are at risk.
Gypsy moth is a high profile pest internationally and as such MAF maintains an early warning trapping programme for this
pest. It has been intercepted on imported goods such as used vehicles entering New Zealand.
For more information, contact:
Mr Nod Kay, Forest Research, Rotorua. Telephone: 07-343-5500 Dr Ruth Frampton, MAF Director, Forest Biosecurity.