Cairns experts head south to help tackle the Whitsunday yellow crazy ant infestation

The Wet Tropics Management Authority (the Authority) is sending experienced team members to the Whitsundays to take part in a five-day taskforce focusing on the yellow crazy ant infestation in that region.

A detailed land survey across 78.5 hectares in Shute Harbour, Woodwork and Mandalay, will take place, from 11 to 15 September, where these invasive pests have been detected.

The Authority will demonstrate survey and sampling techniques with Queensland Parks and Wildlife and local government staff to increase capacity for yellow crazy ants identification, detection and determining the extent of the infestation, before heading out into the field to perform these activities.

The data collected will help the Whitsunday Regional Council manage yellow crazy ant infestations in the region.  

The Authority’s Executive Director, Scott Buchanan said: “The Authority has 10 years’ experience in yellow crazy ant eradication, so we’re thrilled to offer our assistance and knowledge in the field to share best-practice survey and sampling techniques.”

“The Authority has been highly successful in reducing yellow crazy ant populations in the Wet Tropics region since the program’s inception in 2014. It’s important we share our experience with other regions struggling with the same issue” Mr Buchanan said.

The collaborative approach will increase the capability of staff working in the Whitsunday region to recognise potential yellow crazy ant infestations and to effectively map areas of infestation.

Yellow crazy ants are one of the world’s most invasive species and are easily transported in a range of materials. Their ability to form super-colonies and their extremely aggressive nature make them a significant threat to not only the environment, but to the community and the economy.

They can be recognised by their slender body, around 3-4mm long, and their long skinny legs. They have long antennae, equal to or exceeding the length of the body. To find out what to look for see the Authority’s website.

Scott Hardy, Manager Natural Resource Management and Climate at Whitsunday Regional Council reinforced “We look forward to collaborating with the Wet Tropics Management Authority and our colleagues in local and state government to map the Whitsunday’s yellow crazy ant infestations, and we encourage the Whitsunday community to keep an eye out and report any suspect ants to us straight away”.  

Concerned Whitsunday residents can report suspect ants to the Whitsunday Regional Council on 1300 972 753.

The Wet Tropics Management Authority administers the $24 million Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments to combat the spread of the highly invasive species.


Cairns experts head south to help tackle the Whitsunday yellow crazy ant infestation

Published: 11th Sep 2023

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