Check out what we've been up to in August 2022
The Cairns Regional Council hosted the VEXPO (volunteer expo) in late July at the Tanks Art Centre. It was a great day with over 100 people visiting our stall to learn more about why yellow crazy ants are such a huge threat to our environment, lifestyle and economy. The live yellow crazy ants attracted many attendees and after seeing the ants they expressed feeling more confident about recognising them and knowing the difference between native and invasive ants. The free brochures, stickers, kids yellow crazy ant masks and magnets were popular.
We demonstrated how to quarantine your own pot plants to minimise the spread of invasive ants. Our maps also helped people to see if they live in a yellow crazy ant or electric ant infestation area. A warm welcome to the volunteers who signed up to join the Community Taskforce. It’s not too late if you still would like to get involved.
A huge thanks to our wonderful Community Taskforce volunteer, Tim Brown for your time and efforts and to all the wonderful people who dropped in to learn more about yellow crazy ants.
In late July, five community taskforce volunteers adventured into the forest in the fairyland area, near Kuranda to undertake a yellow crazy ant survey. This was the third survey and fortunately, no invasive ants have yet been detected. A lure of jam (sugar) and cat food (protein), mixed together is placed on the ground 5 metres apart and left for up to an hour before returning to check the lure for invasive ants. If there are any suspect ants, a sample is taken for identification by the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s yellow crazy ant monitoring team.
The lower reaches of creeks that flow into the Barron River are prime habitat for many frogs of the Wet Tropics including the iconic, endemic and critically endangered Kuranda tree frog (Litoria myola). Other endangered frog species found here in the rainforest are the Lace lid (Litoria dayi) and Mist frog (Litoria rheocola).
We will continue to check these frog habitats for yellow crazy ants and electric ants which are both a huge threat to our Wet Tropics World Heritage biodiversity. A shout out to the Wet Tropics Management Authority for their ongoing support and collaboration with the Community Taskforce.
We can all help to stop the spread
Help stop the spread of invasive ants by responsibly disposing of your green waste. If you live in an infestation area you can dispose of your green waste at the Kuranda Refuse Station on Kennedy Highway near Speewah. If you live in Green Forest or Russett Park, it is likely you live in or near an infestation area. Do you live in an infestation area? You can check out the DAF website for electric ants and get in touch with the Community Taskforce or the Wet Tropics Management Authority (the Authority) to find out if you live in a yellow crazy ant infestation area.
If you live in an infestation area and would like to move any materials from your property, we can have one of the odour detection dogs from the Authority come and check it over before removal. Recently a Russett Park land owner contacted us in regard to moving some bamboo. Luna the detection dog did a great job of checking the bamboo and found no yellow crazy ants, giving it the all clear to be moved.
For pot plants and cuttings, remember do your bit and ‘Protect Your Patch’ and quarantine your own pot plants by ‘bare rooting’ or ‘water bath’ methods. To help stop the spread we all need to take responsibility for moving ants around. We rely on your support to prevent yellow crazy ants from spreading. Your contribution in our efforts to eradicate this pest are greatly appreciated.
If you or your group would like a demonstration, please get in touch and we can come to you and show you how to quarantine your own pot plants.
To watch the 7 min film, produced by Julian Pitcher and more great tips on how to quarantine a pot plant – click on the link here – ‘Protect Your Patch’
What’s Coming Up
Do you want to get involved?
Surveys in Kuranda tree frog habitat
WHERE: Lower reaches of Kuranda creeks
WHEN: Monthly survey 8–12.30 pm
Sat 24 September – Warril Creek
Invasive ants have been found in critical frog habitat and the Kuranda tree frog is under threat from the yellow crazy ant. Checking for invasive ants will ensure the protection of this endemic and critically endangered species.
Community support is vital in the eradication of invasive ants so please get in touch if you would like to assist with the survey. Lunch is always provided.
Carnival on Collins
Volunteering opportunities are available to help at our info stall.
WHEN: Sunday 4 September
WHERE: The Tanks Art Centre, Collins Avenue, Edge Hill
If you would like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On a final note
The Community Taskforce is a community-run organisation that assists the Wet Tropics Management Authority in managing the yellow crazy ant infestations in Kuranda. Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the program, including undertaking monitoring activities, completing surveys of known infestation areas and surrounding areas.
To report illegal dumping contact MSC 1300308461 Report yellow crazy ants 1800 CRAZY ANTS
To volunteer with the Kuranda Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce you can call (07) 4093 8989 or email email@example.com or Kuranda Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce Facebook page.