AVANEX® unique endophyte technology may assist in reducing the number of birds on or near airfields. The alkaloids produced by the endophytes not only reduces the number of insects but can also reduce feeding of a number of bird species, including finches, gulls and wild Canada geese.
AVANEX® has been shown in trials to reduce insect numbers and as a result the area is less attractive to insect feeding birds. Figure 1 shows a significant reduction in insect numbers on the AVANEX® cultivars compared to grasses with wild type endophyte and grasses with no endophyte.
AVANEX® has also been shown to reduce bird populations through post digestion feedback. This is where birds that feed directly on the grass feel ill after feeding and learn to avoid the area.
- Andy Lester, Christchurch Airport Chief Operating Officer
- Chris Pennell, AgResearch
At both Christchurch International Airport and Hamilton International Airport, AVANEX® grass showed reductions in bird presence. For every bird spotted on AVANEX® plots, the exisiting vegatiaion had 19 times more birds present in Christchurch and 8 times more in Hamilton.
Canada geese and other bird species have also shown a significant avoidance of AVANEX® trial plots.
Selected AVANEX® plots also displayed decreased insect populations in comparison to both nil endophyte and wild type plots, highlighting the technology's diverse advantages.
AVANEX® Unique Endophyte Technology has been included in turf-type grasses, Lagertha - a turf tall fescue, and Colosseum - a turf perennial ryegrass. These endophytes can produce high quantities of alkaloids that can reduce a number of insect pests while also being a deterrent to wildlife grazing.
AVANEX® Colosseum is a medium-fine, mid-green, perennial ryegrass that is a cross between Mediterranean and American genetics. The Mediterranean genetics gives the turf active winter growth in cooler weather and rapid germination, especially in cold temperatures down to 5°C.
Lagertha, with AVANEX® Unique Endophyte Technology, is a high quality, dark and fine turf tall fescue. Lagertha retains a green colour and an attractive appearance for longer in summer due to its strong deep root system.