This project focuses on improving methods to detect the introduction of exotic animal diseases into the Torres Strait. The researchers will examine the environmental factors that influence the establishment and persistence of wildlife diseases in the region. They will study insect disease vectors and the incidence of disease in birds in a range of habitats in order to identify where disease risk is greatest. Field studies will be conducted using replicated mosquito trapping and mist netting of birds in Torres Strait, at sites identified from previous projects.
Developing a model of disease dynamics across the Torres Strait based on past and ongoing epidemiology and ecological studies on vectors, reservoir hosts and known disease prevalence including the influence of inter-island and PNG traffic on insect vectors.
Undertake a fieldwork program that tests and improves upon our understanding (the model) of how diseases are maintained and dispersed across the islands.
Use the results to identify appropriate responses for minimizing the risks associated with disease incursion.
Develop capacity in north Queensland in the identification and sampling of vectors and diseases