The kids are doing it: six-year-old stink bug finder
Following the theme of future biosecurity champions, we were thrilled to get a report from a local primary school about the discovery of a potential unwanted stink bug.
Prior to leaving school, a six-year-old student at Matahui School in Katikati found a stink bug nymph, had Mum take a photo and then proudly showed the critter off to Dad. Being the small world that it is, Dads work sometimes relates to the kiwifruit industry and he had been contacted in the past by KVH about Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) so knew to make a report when he saw something unusual.
Formal identification by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) found that the bug was a native Australian Green Shield Bug.
This is a fantastic example of the great awareness of our environment, and all the living things in it (of which biosecurity is such an important element) being built up from the ground level by teachers and principals day-to-day in, and outside of the classroom. Raising public awareness is what we are all about, and our goal is for the whole country to form a team of 4.7 million biosecurity conscious New Zealanders by 2025.
The Principal at Matahui School says the school promotes this type of learning and he will keep his young scientists out-and-about in the local environment exploring, investigating, and understanding the need to spot and report anything unusual.