Myrtle rust reporter

Download the free app: iPhone, Android

Back in April NatureWatch NZ brought you the sad news that myrtle rust had been found in Northland and we asked the community to keep an eye out for it. We now have a new weapon in the fight against the plant disease myrtle rust, currently threatening a number of New Zealand’s native species, including pōhutukawa, ramarama, northern and southern rātā and manuka.

It's a smartphone app to help you report myrtle rust, developed by the Northland Regional Council, Scion, Envirolink, Te Tira Whakamātaki (Maori Biosecurity Network), Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, and MPI. The app works with NatureWatchNZ so that all NZ’ers can assist in a surveillance campaign to find myrtle rust.

The myrtle rust reporter app is freely available in the iPhone and Android app stores. We encourage you to give this new bilingual app a go and use it to record a dozen potential host plants in your community. You will become the kaitiaki (or guardian) of these specific plants. Check these plants regularly and look for telltale yellow spores on new growth. If you think you’ve found myrtle rust, remember not to touch the plant or the symptoms. Take a picture and submit your record using the app. Then immediately phone MPI on 0800 80 99 66. The investigator on the phone will use your app username to look up your record and discuss your photo with you.

It’s super important that you do record your host plants so that we all know what plants you are looking after. Myrtle rust has so far been found in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki, and Te Puke, however New Zealand’s a big place and myrtle rust has tiny little spores so as a group we need to make sure we cover as much of New Zealand as possible. Check out where other people are helping by visiting the myrtle rust reporter project where we will update you with progress.

Posted by jon_sullivan jon_sullivan, November 26, 2017 07:55 PM

Comments

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Here's a link to the PDF of the poster advertising the app. Feel free to print it out and post it in places where people will see it. We want to get as many people as possible keeping a close eye of their neighbourhood myrtaceae.

Posted by jon_sullivan 17 days ago (Flag)
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Great job, Jon. Wishing the folks in NZ luck in the quest to locate and isolate yet another non-native pest.

Posted by sambiology 14 days ago (Flag)
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Thanks Sam.

This one's a nasty one, and is already killing off Metrosideros trees on NZ's Kermadec Islands. We launched the app on Monday and already have a confirmed new location for the rust in the North Island from an app user's photo. NZ could be in for a rough ride with myrtle rust.

Posted by jon_sullivan 14 days ago (Flag)

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