CSIRO Mouse Expert Steve Henry Warns Plague Mice Could Enter Year 2 | Katherine times

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The mouse problem in west-central New South Wales has eased over the winter, but an expert has warned that there is a very real possibility that numbers will increase in proportion again. plague as the weather warms. “They reproduce so quickly. You can go from a few mice to a major problem really quickly,” said Steve Henry, CSIRO mouse expert. “It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months to eight weeks in terms of breeding.” In June, CSIRO warned of the possibility of a two-year plague, in which the number of mice peaks during the winter, then resumes in the spring, pushing the plague into a second year until that the numbers eventually crumble. With the second spring underway, scientists are closely monitoring the numbers of mice. READ MORE: Mr Henry recently visited western parts of the state including Coonamble, Walgett and Trangie to monitor the situation. “Although in general there have been reports of low numbers – and we couldn’t find a lot of signs of mice, there are some weird spots around where people are reporting numbers.” Those would be moderate numbers, but they’re still there in “Mr Henry said there was a real chance the wet November the area experienced could precede another explosion in the mouse population. “I think November 2010 was really, really wet, and then we’ve had a lot of mice throughout 2011. I’m not saying it’s going to happen this year, but it’s definitely a similar scenario. “, did he declare. Flooding in parts of the state will “verify the numbers considerably,” but that would only be a temporary setback. “If you think back to this year, just before Easter, there was a major rain event.” After that I was talking to the farmers and when I asked them if the rain had killed all their mice, their The answer was, well, that made them back down, but soon after the drying out started, they got back to business. “As soon as the crops dried out again, they went back there. “They are an incredibly hardy species and even though the wet weather will turn things around a bit we always say we have to keep looking.” Farmers must remain vigilant, he said. “While there isn’t much they can do now, because the harvest is too close to be baited, the key messages are: that the mice are not present and a problem when you sow the next harvest next April.” Mouse sightings can be recorded on the Mouse Alert website.


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