Our very own Lucy Karger (Wet Tropics Management Authority yellow crazy ant eradication project), Dr Lori Lach (research fellow, James Cook University), Daniel Bateman (Cairns Post journalist) and Frank Teodo (Edmonton cane farmer) won a 2015 Froggatt Awards this week.
The Froggatt Awards are given out by Australia’s Invasive Species Council to those who have made a major contribution to protecting Australia’s native plants and animals, ecosystems and people from dangerous new invasive species.
Lucy, Lori, Daniel and Frank were recognised for their exceptional efforts to eradicate yellow crazy ants from the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
“Without their tireless efforts few people would appreciate the danger posed by the highly invasive and environmentally destructive yellow crazy ant” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said.
The awards are named in honour of Australian entomologist Walter Froggatt, who in the 1930s was a lone voice in lobbying the federal government to be cautious in releasing the cane toad into Australia. At the time Walter wrote that ‘this great toad, immune from enemies, omnivorous in its habits, and breeding all year round, may become as great a pest as the rabbit or cactus’.
His lobbying efforts were initially successful, but overturned in 1936, and cane toads were released initially in sugar cane fields around Cairns and then throughout the sugar cane regions of Queensland.
Our tropical north Queensland champions are in the company of three other Froggatt Award winners including: the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, for acting quickly and decisively in expelling Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s dogs, Pistol and Boo, which had been brought into Australia in an apparent breach of the country’s strict quarantine laws; the NSW red imported fire ant response; and the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee, for their work on the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee inquiry into environmental biosecurity and the final report.
Read more about the Invasive Species Council and the Frogatt Awards here.
Read more about yellow crazy ants and the eradication program here.