The newly-formed Townsville Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce is recruiting locals this Saturday to join its push to rid Billabong Sanctuary and surrounding areas of one of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species.
“Yellow crazy ants can form super colonies and are a huge threat to our local wildlife, properties, primary industries and way of life,” the Invasive Species Council’s community coordinator Yvette Williams said.
“We need volunteers to help distribute ant baits throughout Billabong Sanctuary this Saturday and help in the ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of our eradication program.”
The taskforce is a joint project between the Invasive Species Council and Townsville City Council to rid Nome, just south of Townsville, of these highly invasive ants.
“We’re focusing our efforts on a 40-hectare area of Nome, which includes the beautiful Billabong Sanctuary,” Ms Williams said.
“With the support of locals we believe we can eradicate yellow crazy ants before they make it into Bowling Green Bay National Park, which is home to a number of threatened species found nowhere else in the world, including the Mount Elliot nursery frog and the Mount Elliot leaf-tailed gecko.”
Volunteers will be trained in baiting, monitoring and identifying yellow crazy ants.
Although the ants are tiny they can swarm in great numbers. In January last year these super colonies were having a huge impact on the sanctuary and local residents, infested people’s home and properties.
“We need to contain and eradicate yellow crazy ants in these smaller areas before they get out of hand,” Ms Williams said.
While ant numbers and their impacts fluctuate depending on environmental conditions, Queensland’s wet/dry tropics make ideal habitat for yellow crazy ants and are especially vulnerable to invasion.
The yellow crazy ant field day is taking place at Billabong Sanctuary, Nome, Saturday 28 July 12.30pm to 5pm. Volunteers can sign-up for the event on Facebook.
This project is supported by the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.