Check out what we've been up to in Oct - Dec 2023
Back to Mareeba Markets
The Taskforce in October
The Taskforce returned for the second time to the Mareeba Markets at the Turf Club on 14 Oct.
It was a cloudless warm spring morning, and the Taskforce was ready with live yellow crazy ants, infestation maps and information on both yellow crazy and electric ants.
Patrons were grateful to witness live ants and talk about native ants they have found in their own backyards.
The important thing about meeting people face to face, is they learn about yellow crazy and electric ants and what they look like. They are equipped to defend the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area with their new knowledge and vigilance on the ground.
Kuranda got blitzed for invasive ants
On 21-22 Oct weekend, Biosecurity Queensland’s National Electric Ant Eradication Program joined forces with Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program, Djabugay Bulmba Rangers, Kuranda Envirocare and the Taskforce to survey and yard check for both electric and yellow crazy ants in the Kuranda area.
Teams walked multiple kilometres on Kuranda’s streets luring with sausage, cat food and jam to entice ants. A total of 32-yard checks were completed over the weekend and more were done on Monday. We had 25 participants on Saturday and 22 on Sunday. Six of which were Taskforce volunteers.
A big THANK YOU to the volunteers for coming out to protect our environment.
All the magnificent work completed on the weekend blitz found no new yellow crazy ant infestations and four new electric ant infestations. Two of which, were from yard checks that were registered because of the publicity around the blitz and completed in the following days.
A great result from a great collaboration.
It is not too late to be a part of this blitz. Anyone can have their yard checked at any time, call 13 25 23 to book your free yard check or get your own self-surveillance kit.
Kuranda Youth Career Pathways Talk
Senior students who have just completed their Cert II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management from Kuranda District State college, had the pleasure of attending a Career Pathways Talk Panel discussion which we were invited to join in on thanks to the Djabugay Bulmba Rangers.
We have worked with the students during some of their course modules learning yellow crazy ant surveying techniques, identification, and the many stages of yellow crazy ant eradication. The Community Taskforce shared knowledge and information with the students about potential future pathways in this line of employment.
Also attending were some great speakers representing Djabugay Rangers, Queensland Parks and Wildlife, Biosecurity Queensland, Kuranda Envirocare, and Mareeba Shire Council.
Congratulations to the students who completed their course, keep up the clever work and we hope to see some of you in the field soon.
Kuranda Colour Fest Ant-ics
On 13 October Kuranda District State College celebrated their 25th Anniversary in collaboration with The Kuranda Traders annual Colour Run.
The Community Taskforce joined alongside Biosecurity Queensland to share an information display showing live yellow crazy ants and electric ants which are always great talking points. It helps to see the ants up close to know that yellow crazy ants and electric ants are quite different in appearance and then recognition does become easier once you meet them in person. Both invasive ants have been found in and adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the Wet Tropics Management Authority and Biosecurity Queensland both currently have highly active eradication programs underway.
The yellow crazy ant masks were given out to children big and small, and the stickers and brochures were popular too. A fun evening was had by all, and the fireworks display was spectacular.
Thanks to Kuranda Envirocare and Bats and Trees Society of Cairns for joining the Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce and spreading the good word on all thing’s environment.
Kuranda Tree Frog Habitat Survey – Jumrum Creek
Another successful survey looking for yellow crazy ants and electric ants in Kuranda tree frog habitat. Jumrum Creek is home to our critically endangered and endemic Kuranda tree frog, and this is the very reason we are checking the lower reaches of Kuranda creeks for yellow crazy ants and electric ants. These two ants are a huge threat to frogs and other biodiversity so if they were to be left unnoticed, they could decimate whole frog populations. We usually do two surveys per creek however electric ants had been recently detected in the area, so we decided to go back for a third survey further upstream for a closer look. No invasive ants were detected.
Thank you to the wonderful team who joined the Taskforce. Your work is appreciated. All doing our bit to protect our precious Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Last Taskforce Survey of 2023
Taskforce in November
Good news for the Kuranda tree frog and all our other rainforest frogs of the Wet Tropics, no yellow crazy ants or electric ants were detected on the invasive ant survey last Saturday 11 November and for that matter in any of the KTF surveys from 2022-2023. We took various suspect invasive ant samples along the way, but they all fortunately came back negative.
We certainly had yet another fun and adventurous year of surveys with impressive results. This is our second year of monthly surveys with a total of 14 surveys complete and the lower reaches of 7 local creeks surveyed for both electric ants and yellow crazy ants.
Thank you to all the Taskforce volunteers who have given your time and energy, Biosecurity Queensland’s Electric Ant Eradication Program and the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program for providing field staff and survey equipment. Also, a big shout out to the wonderful property owners who have given permissions for us to come out and look for invasive ants in your backyard. And Dei for looking after us with your delicious lunches from Sprout Café.
This was our last survey for 2023 as we take a few wet season months off now to focus more on promoting our Protect your Patch video, more Toolbox talks and do keep an ear out for our upcoming yellow crazy ant Identification workshop.
Splendid work everyone and I look forward to surveying with you again starting back in March 2024.
Koah Market Magic
Christmas at the Koah Market was certainly a jolly good time, the balmy heat aside, a great day was had by all. Great music by Gypsy Swing musicians, Blue Reed, a surprise visit from Santa offering children cart rides pulled by a strong little pony. There were treats and sweets, presents galore and so much local art, crafts and produce. An amazing community doing amazing things!
Our live yellow crazy ants and electric ants were hot topics and over 50 people dropped by to get a closer look at these tiny but destructive little critters. We need people in our community to recognise and report invasive ants. Your input to our programs is so valuable and we couldn’t do it all without you.
With Wet season and Cyclone season here, please remember to responsibly dump green waste at transfer stations and report suspect ants.
Have you seen yellow crazy ants? Please report any suspected sightings to the Wet Tropics Management Authority at YCA@wtma.qld.gov.au, or call 07 4241 0525
Tropical Tree Day
The Cairns community gathered in Woree to plant 1200 for Tropical Tree Day on Sunday 10 December.
The Taskforce was there to spread awareness and share information about yellow crazy ants with the tree planters. Many children came to inspect the live ants, wear the ant masks and collect stickers. Parents came to find out where the nearest infestations were to their homes. Overall, it was great opportunity to learn how to recognise and report yellow crazy ants and stop the spread of invasive ants in our precious Wet Tropics World Heritage.
Thanks to volunteer Tim Brown, Wet Tropics Management Authority staff Mollie Crocker and Nick Gibbous for supporting the Taskforce on the day.
Thank you to Pacific Toyota, Skyrail and Cairns Regional Council for putting on this annual family eco event.
Djabugay Bulmba Rangers
A training day was conducted with the Djabugay Bulmba Rangers, at Nyawarri Estate in Kuranda, on the 6 dec 2023. The sixteen participating rangers received information presentations on both electric ants and yellow crazy ants, delivered by the National Electric Ant Eradication Program and the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program team members, followed by a question and answer session.
The rangers then went on site, to a Lychee orchid area, to undertake surveillance training, learning luring and sample collection techniques used for electric ant surveillance. Multiple samples were collected to be analysed in the electric ant diagnostics lab in Cairns. The Rangers were very interested in todays learnings and are enthusiastic about assisting with the Programs future works in the area.
What’s Coming Up
Would you like to learn new skills and join in on events and surveys?
An Ants World – A look into the Life of an Ant
Free Workshop – BBQ lunch included.
Where: Kuranda Recreation Centre, Fallon Rd, Kuranda
When: Sat 17 February 2024, 10 am – 1 pm
Kuranda Tree frog habitat (KTF) monthly survey
Volunteers wanted for our survey crew
Where: Kuranda creeks
When: March 2024 – Date TBC
Moderate level of fitness required.
No experience necessary. Training provided on the day.
FREE Toolbox talk
Learn about the risks and impacts invasive ants have in your community.
Where: In your workplace or group setting
When: Get in touch to make a time
Volunteer With Us
Volunteer and join the Taskforce or stay informed about yellow crazy ants
On a final note
The Yellow Crazy Ant 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 many aspects of the program including undertaking regular monitoring activities, completing surveys, and attending community engagement activities and events.
We search for both yellow crazy ants and electric ants.
To report illegal dumping contact Mareeba Shire Council on 1300 308 461.
Report yellow crazy ants call 1800 CRAZY ANT