Sunday, September 22, 2013

South Korean Updates: Risk assessment on Vespa velutina nigrithorax to be conducted (16 Sep 2013)

Risk assessment on Vespa velutina nigrithorax to be conducted

A risk assessment on Vespa velutina nigrithorax, an unwelcome guest in cities threatening the public safety, will be carried out to reduce damages. National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) under the Ministry of Environment conducted a close investigation for risk assessment of invasive hornet ecosystem in order to scientifically analyze the spread of Vespa velutina nigrithorax and come up with countermeasures.

Vespa velutina nigrithorax, a suptropical invasive insect, is known as ‘honeybee killer’ for hunting native bees in Korea.

The investigation, jointly conducted by NIER, Yeungnam University and Andong National University until November, will collect data regarding Vespa velutina nigrithorax such as distribution, spread path, damages on living thing, farms and human body, types of habitat and breeding characteristics.

Also, NIER requested 16 Fire Safety Headquarters across the nation to take and share photos of hornet to confirm the distribution of the hornet. After collecting data, NIER will set up a management plan, which might include designation of Vespa velutina nigrithorax as ecosystem-disturbing species depending on the result of risk assessment.

Since first conducted in 2011 under the Biodiversity Act, the risk assessment of invasive species has laid an institutional foundation for managing those species by designating the ones with high ecology risk as ecosystem-disturbing species.

An official from NIER said that the Institute will make full use of the risk assessment for preparing effective management measures to reduce damages from Vespa velutina nigrithorax. He also added that NIER will do its best to raise the public’s awareness on invasive species and ecosystem-disturbing species to minimize harmful damages. 


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