NAQS target pests, diseases and weeds

​​The Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) list of target pests, diseases and weeds includes, but is not limited to:

Plant Pests


Plant Diseases

Animal Pests

Animal Diseases

The NAQS target list

The NAQS surveillance program targets insect pests, diseases and weeds that are:

  • considered serious threats to Australia’s agricultural productivity, export markets or the environment; and
  • have potential to enter Australia from Timor Leste, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea or other locations via northern Australia by non-conventional pathways (for example, wind-borne or unregulated human-assisted pathways).

Target species are reviewed regularly to ensure NAQS surveillance is risk-based and aligned to national animal and plant health priorities.

How are target species decided?

Species included on the NAQS target list usually meet the following criteria:

1. Probability of entry

There is a reasonable probability of entry of a pest, disease or weed into northern Australia. These include:

  • whether the organism is known to be present in locations near to northern Australia
  • the method of spread and number of viable arrival pathways to the risk zone (natural or non-conventional transmission or dispersion must be possible)
  • known history of international spread and biosecurity concern.

2. Probability of establishment

There is a significant probability of establishment if a pest or disease enters northern Australia. These include:

  • the availability of suitable hosts/habitat
  • the ecology of the pest, disease or weed
  • the likelihood of survival
  • cultural practices and control measures likely to impact establishment.

3. Probability of spread after establishment

There should be consider​able likelihood of spread after establishment in and beyond northern Australia. This is determined after considering the following :

  • suit​ability of the overall environment for natural spread and hosts
  • presence of natural barriers to dispersion
  • potential for movement outside of the NAQS surveillance zone via trade, people or natural transmission
  • potential vectors of the pest in northern Australia
  • potential predators or bio-control species of the particular pest.

4. Potential significant adverse impact

The pest, disease or weed must have the potential to cause a significant impact to:

  • agriculture
  • the environment, or
  • the Australian public.

Details regarding a comprehensive list of NAQS target species may be obtained by contacting NAQS.

5. Publications

Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy: Weeds Target List. 3rd edition. ABARES - Brown, L., Johnson H. and Raphael, B. (2008).​
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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