Councils, land managers and Traditional Owners from Cooktown to Hinchinbrook will join forces in an annual environmental taskforce to combat yellow crazy ants in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and surrounds.
The Wet Tropics Management Authority and Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC) will lead the 2018 Yellow Crazy Ant Taskforce, which includes:
The taskforce will survey alongside creeks downstream of known infestations from 20 August.
Last year’s taskforce hand-treated more than 125 hectares of infestations along creeks and affected residential areas in Cairns’ southern suburbs.
The 2018 taskforce will survey Wrights Creek, Blackfellow Creek, Mackey Creek and Stoney Creek near Edmonton and Gordonvale, which constitute more than 50km of waterways in the Wet Tropics bioregion.
Surveys will target areas downstream of known infestations, which are vulnerable to the spread of the invasive ant due to its ability to float in large groups, a process known as ‘rafting’.
Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director, Scott Buchanan, said the Yellow Crazy Ant Taskforce had a history of success.
‘The taskforce is an important and valued partner in the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program. They provide significant numbers of feet on the ground to ensure we continue our march toward eradication,’ he said.
‘The 2017 taskforce provided an injection of people power to treat ant infestations along creeks and residential areas in a short amount of time, and we welcome the support this year to assist in our focus on key waterways to prevent further spread of this invasive ant.’
Travis Sydes, FNQROC regional natural asset management coordinator, said the taskforce continued to grow each year.
‘Previous taskforces have represented a region-wide sharing of resources and expertise in natural asset management. We expect our largest attendance yet in 2018,’ he said.
‘We’re proud not only of the results the taskforce delivers, but of the collaboration between agencies and Traditional Owner groups across the Wet Tropics region.’
The 2018 Yellow Crazy Ant Taskforce will be in action from Monday 20 August until Friday 24 August.
Image courtesy Terrain NRM: 2017 taskforce participants Rowan Shee (Terrain NRM) and LJ Stockdale (Wet Tropics Management Authority)
About the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program
The control of yellow crazy ant infestations in and adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.