Stamp out yellow crazy ants
Yellow crazy ant eradication
Yellow crazy ants were first detected just within the World Heritage Area and Little Mulgrave National Park in 2012. In 2013 the Wet Tropics Management Authority was funded $2M over five years by the Caring for Our Country program to eradicate a large yellow crazy ant infestation in the Edmonton area. The program is also working to eradicate a smaller infestation at Russett park near Kuranda.
In late 2016 the Authority received commitments of $7.5M from the Australian Government and $3M from the Queensland Government to continue the eradication program for a further three years (2017-2019) as part of a ten year eradication program.
Scientists Dr Lori Lach and Dr Conrad Hoskin have written a poignant article in Wildlife Australia - Too much to lose - which emphasises the need to act now if we wish to protect the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area from the devastating impacts of crazy ants. You can also read all about the details of the eradication project on the Australian Government's MERIT website.
The crazy ant eradication would not be possible without the support of our many partners. These include:
For detailed information about the eradication programs, click on the links below:
Chemicals to kill crazy ants
If you wish to know more about the eradication program and the chemicals being used in the eradication program, you can read more below and download detailed information here about:
Are the ants dangerous?
The ants can be painful and dangerous to people and animals. They spray formic acid when disturbed and it can be particularly painful if there is contact with the eyes.
Is the treatment dangerous to humans?
No. The baiting program uses low doses of Fipronil which is not considered hazardous to people and animals. However, as a precaution, landholders are advised to avoid contact with the bait for at least 24 hours so the ants can collect it and take it down into their nests before it degrades. Fipronil can affect some fish and aquatic organisms and should not be used in fishponds or streams.
What if I live in an area with crazy ants?
We need your cooperation:
Identifying yellow crazy ants
Yellow crazy ants can be identified by their:
Impacts of yellow crazy ants
Yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) are a major threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
They are a serious environmental and agricultural pest, recognised among the world's 100 most invasive species. The name 'crazy ant' is derived from their erratic walking style and frantic movements, especially when disturbed.
Yellow crazy ants are known as 'tramp ants' because of their ability to spread by hitching a ride. Other tramp ants include electric ants (Wasmannia auropunctata), also detected in the Wet Tropics region (see the new invasive animals page).
Yellow crazy ants can have severe impacts on a range of ecological processes and lead to significant loss of biodiversity. They have the potential to threaten the tourism industry and visitor enjoyment of the Wet Tropics, the quality of life for local residents and agricultural productivity.
What can you do?
Learn more about the yellow crazy ant eradication program
You can download:
For detailed information ring Lucy Karger or Gareth Humphreys at the Wet Tropics Management Authority on 07 4241 0500.
Yellow crazy ants Image Gallery
Click on the images to view at a larger size.