The Australian Government $24.8m budget commitment over four years to eradicating yellow crazy ants will ensure the important work the Wet Tropics Management Authority will be able to continue.
The Authority’s Executive Director, Scott Buchanan said: “This shows the Australian Government’s commitment to the environment and foresight to keep our highly successful Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program running.”
“Yellow crazy ants in sugarcane paddocks, in local businesses and in residential areas, spraying formic acid and injuring pets and people, was something Cairns experienced in 2013, but with the subsequent success of the Authority’s Eradication Program, yellow crazy ant infestations have reduced significantly, with eradication declared at four sites and remnant populations on-track for eradication in the coming years. As sites progress towards eradication, we are moving from broad scale treatment into long term monitoring so we can be sure the ants have truly been eradicated” Mr Buchanan said.
Yellow crazy ants are considered to be one of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species and have been present in Far North Queensland for over a decade, but the persistent efforts of the Authority’s Eradication Program have seen widespread infestation contained in recent years.
The negative impact yellow crazy ants have on ecosystems can have dramatic impacts on the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Queensland, considered one of the world’s most significant biodiverse places. The ants outcompete native invertebrates and birds, reptiles and frogs are impacted by them.
Project Manager, Lucy Karger said: “Support from community and industry, in particular the sugar industry, has been a major contributing factor to the Program’s achievements on-ground. We are grateful for the continued investment that will support our ongoing collaboration with many and varied partners in the region to eradicate yellow crazy ants from the area.”
“The Authority’s Eradication Program has been jointly supported by the Queensland and Australian governments and it is great to see that spirit of cooperation continue” Mr Buchanan said.
The budget commitment also includes funding to tackle yellow crazy ants in Townsville.
Mr Buchanan said the Authority has already been consulting with Townsville authorities on how to tackle the infestations growing in the region.
If you think you may have seen yellow crazy ants, please contact the Wet Tropics Management Authority on 4241 0525 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free property inspection.