1. Sirex noctilio is one of the most serious invasive pests of pine. In South
Africa, there has been a national effort to control S. noctilio, including an
awareness campaign to increase awareness of the pest amongst the local
2. We considered the impacts that the arrival of the pest and the awareness
campaign has had on perceptions and knowledge of S. noctilio, as well as
other forestry pests, amongst members of the forestry community.
3. For the data collection, a survey questionnaire was developed and used in
4. Results of the study showed that the Sirex awareness campaign had increased
knowledge of forestry pests in general. However, basic knowledge regarding
the identification and symptoms of specific pests, such as S. noctilio, was
poor. This will negatively influence monitoring efficacy.
5. Traditional paper-based media and personal contact contributed most to
enhanced awareness. Electronic media were less effective and improvement
would require a more focused effort. It was of concern that private farmers and
contractors, as well as non-European first language speakers, were less well
informed about forestry pests.
6. Clearly, a fragmented landscape in terms of ownership and language, presents
challenges for effective communication of forestry pest threats.