Around 50 participants trekked into the rugged foothills of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area adjacent to Cairns’ southern suburbs of Mt Peter, Edmonton and Bentley Park.
The taskforce aimed to determine the western boundary of the yellow crazy ant infestation to assist the Wet Tropics Management Authority in its yellow crazy ant eradication project, in particular the aerial baiting program.
Wet Tropics yellow crazy ant senior technical officer Gareth Humphreys said that ant distribution was patchy and numbers were lower than recorded last year.
“While the taskforce did detect a small amount of spread in a couple of locations, the results from the surveys were very encouraging,” Mr Humphreys said.
“We do ask that the community remain vigilant in keeping an eye out for pest ants and to report illegal dumping to the appropriate authorities,” Mr Humphreys added.
The taskforce was a collaboration between 15 organisations including local government employees, the Far North Queensland Region of Councils, QPWS rangers, Conservation Volunteers, Jarragun Natural Resource Management, Jarragun Natural Resource Management, Djunbunji Land and Sea Rangers, Gunggandji Rangers, Biosecurity Queensland and Rainforest Aboriginal traditional owners and local landholders.
The taskforce crews move out towards a point where they can no longer see the ants. They then place lures that contain a combination of jam and tuna to attract any remaining ants and move outwards until no more ants can be found and the infestation boundary is established. Locations are recorded via GPS and used for mapping the infestation boundary.
The organisations that collaborated on the taskforce were: