Sochi chestnuts will be saved by Italian wasps

Sochi chestnuts will be saved by Italian wasps

Source: Pixabay

About five thousand galls of the larva of thorymus (Torymus sinensis), an insect resembling a wasp and a natural enemy of the pest, arrived at the resort and will combat the chestnut gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus).

Torymus were transferred to the Sochi National Park from the All-Russian Research Institute of Forestry and Forestry Mechanization in Moscow. The galls came to Russia from Italy, through the diplomatic channels of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. In Sochi, thorymus was released in specially protected natural areas to combat insect pests.

"The forests of the Black Sea region are in great danger, since a large number of invasive pests have been brought to Sochi, which have no natural enemies here, and if nothing is done, tin five years here will be nothing to protect. Today, a significant event is taking place not only for the Sochi National Park, but also for the whole of Russia.We are fighting against the eastern chestnut gall wasp, which has affected more than half of all chestnut plantations in the national park.

Thorymus is the natural enemy of the pest. They only feed on hazelnut. We hope that within three to five years we will say with confidence that we have managed to stop the spread of dryocosmus kuriphilus. This is just the beginning of the journey. There is still a lot of work to be done to research methods of pest control of other iconic plants - oak, conifers, cypresses,” said Pavel Khotsenko, director of the Sochi National Park.

The first to start testing the only and most successful international method of pest control will be the Maryinskoye, Golovinskoye and Dagomyskoye forestries. Small greenhouses in the form of shelters will be built here. The specialists will be able to monitor the survival rate of the thorymus and, if successful, collect new galls in the early spring of next year.

«The mprovements will be seen in about two years and will gradually increase until the galls become almost imperceptible, since their number will begin to significantly decrease,» said Director of VNIIL Yuri Gninenko.

The invasive pests entered the territory of the city of Sochi with planting material for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Fighting them is one of the important tasks of the country's Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology. To carry out the necessary research on the territory of Sochi and the Sochi National Park, five experimental sites have been created, where new drugs are used. For a long time, the control of pests using chemical treatment in protected areas was legally limited, despite the fact that the scientific community declared that these restrictions were inappropriate.

«We analyzed the legislation, worked with researchers and solved a number of joint issues with Rosprirodnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage), Rosselkhoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance). The use of entamophages to combat an invasive pest is possible! It is necessary! And It is demanded! We use the entamophages with the help of chemicals. These drugs do not possess mutagenic, carcinogenic and toxic properties. We agreed on this list, received a conclusion, made changes and gave explanations to all protected areas - if possible, to apply appropriate methods of pest control,» said Irina Makanova, Director of the Department of State Policy and Regulation in the Development of Specially Protected Natural Areas of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources.

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