[6 October/ New Zealand Herald]

The rust fungus weapon, Prospodium tuberculatum, released in Northland in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), with support from Northland Regional Council (NRC) is taking effect, and has caused an evident decrease in the population size of the pest, Lantana. Prospodium tuberculatum keeps the population of the Lantana pest at a low level. Rust fungus is a method used to control pests and weeds through naturally occurring enemies and diseases. Lantana has significant detrimental effects in Northland, such as being poisonous to people and grazing stock, as well as quickly invading areas such as native and exotic forests, home gardens and quarries. The host-specific fungi were released in the Whangaroa, Doubtless Bay, Awanui and Kohukohu areas.