This is no small thing. Our project to help eradicate yellow crazy ants from northern Queensland has been shortlisted for a 2020 Australian Ethical community grant.
Australian Ethical says our project highlights a deep commitment to our work, displays strong outcomes and clearly articulates how we are tackling this huge task.
We were among 24 projects to be shortlisted from more than 430 applications. That’s a big deal.
The public had a vote on which projects will make the final cut, with voting open from 6 to 26 July 2020 on the Australian Ethical website.
The winner is expected to be announced in early September.
We work across Australia on some of the nation’s most important conservation campaigns. Few are more important than our work to help eradicate yellow crazy ants, which are a fearsome creature, and listed among the 100 worst invasive species in the world.
Yellow crazy ants have a huge impact on our native wildlife, killing and consuming most other ants, insects, lizards, birds and small mammals. They thrive in Queensland’s warm, humid tropics.
One of our greatest fears is that if yellow crazy ants are not eradicated from Nome near Townsville they could threaten Bowling Green Bay National Park, a sanctuary for many threatened species, including northern quolls and the black-throated finch.
This incredible national park also takes in Mt Elliott, home to four species found nowhere else in the world – including the Mt Elliott nursery frog and the Mt Elliott leaf-tailed gecko.
These biodiversity hotspots are integrally connected with the Great Barrier Reef. Anything that tips the ecological balance on land will have repercussions for the reef’s marine life.
Receiving an Australian Ethical Community Grant will be like strapping a turbo charger to our Townsville yellow crazy ant eradication program.
It will make sure we have the funds to:
Yellow crazy ants are one of the world’s worst invasive species. Capable of forming super colonies, they threaten our tropical north, including the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the dry tropics, and carry huge social, environmental and financial impacts.
That’s why we have invested years of work into the battle against yellow crazy ants in Queensland.
Our efforts were critical in securing the funding to eradicate an outbreak of the ants in Cairns that threatened Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Our team is now working closely with the City of Townsville to support local control efforts and secure much-needed resources for a full-scale eradication program for Townsville.
Our community coordinator, Bev Job, is focusing on the small suburb of Nome, just south of Townsville, where the ants have been present in the area since 2008.
Two years ago, in 2018, we started coordinating community volunteers to support council treatment efforts. We’re almost there. There have been no detections of yellow crazy ants for the past 18 months, but we still need to keep checking at least until the end of the year.
We have enough funds to keep one person employed at eight hours a week until September, but that’s not enough.
Securing this grant will allow us to support community volunteers to help with delimiting and treating the new infestation next to the national park and to continue the important surveillance work in Nome to confirm the ants are really gone.
Eradication is achievable with the help and dedication of the community.