Authority takes to the skies to eliminate yellow crazy ants

Aerial baiting of yellow crazy ants has been undertaken in southern parts of Cairns. 
Photographer: Samuel Davis

Date published: 10th May 2017

The Wet Tropics Management Authority has completed its latest aerial baiting treatment for yellow crazy ants in southern Cairns this week.


The two-day baiting period covered forested areas behind Bentley Park, Mt Peter and in sugarcane fields at Edmonton. A further 15 hectares at Russett Park, near Kuranda, will also be baited.


The treatment, conducted three times a year, spreads granules of ant bait over infested sites in and adjacent the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.  


Executive Director Scott Buchanan says work conducted by the Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ants Eradication team continues to yield positive results.


“We’re confident that we’ll be able to declare two infested sites at Edmonton fully eradicated by the end of the year,” Mr Buchanan says.


“That’s a big step and with further aerial and ground treatment we think we can make additional inroads elsewhere.”


Mr Buchanan says community support has been outstanding, with passionate volunteers completing surveys near infestation sites and assisting with ground baiting.  


“For people to give up their free time and weekends to help the cause tells us that that our message is connecting with them,” he says.  


“People realise how much damage these ants can do to our World Heritage Area and the entire Wet Tropics region.”


Ground baiting is expected to continue through till the end of the month with field officers targeting residential areas in Bentley Park and Edmonton.


Yellow crazy ants are restricted biosecurity matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.


Suspected yellow crazy ant sightings can be reported by contacting Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.


About Yellow Crazy Ants


Yellow crazy ants are among the most invasive species found in the Wet Tropics. The exotic pest has invaded around 800 hectares of land in the region, including over 200 hectares of rainforest in and adjacent to the World Heritage Area. Rather than bite or sting, the ants spray formic acid to kill their prey, making them a danger to threatened endemic species in the Wet Tropics. The 5mm ants can kill much larger prey and often work in large numbers referred to as ‘super-colonies’.


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