Check out what we've been up to in December 2022
It’s a wrap for 2022 frog creek surveys
The November survey at Owen Creek was our last one of 2022. Two samples of suspected electric ants were taken, fortunately, they both came back with a negative result.
The last seven surveys have all shown negative which is great news for our endemic and critically endangered Kuranda tree frog.
Owen Creek is a known historical electric ant hotspot so it’s promising no invasive ants were detected there.
We will come back in March 2023 to continue the great work of surveying Kuranda tree frog habitat for invasive ants.
A pink flag is placed next to the lure of jam and cat food every 5 metres for ease of relocating an hour later to check for invasive ants. We started the survey where Owen Creek meets the Barron River.
Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program field staff supports the Taskforce volunteers (from left, Taskforce coordinator Sylvia, staff Lukasz and Adam, Taskforce volunteers Paul and Ellin.
This is the rail bridge at Owen Creek with survey flag in the foreground. This location is one of many long-term frog monitoring sites Kuranda Envirocare monitor monthly.
African Tulip Flower.
Spathodea is a genus in the plant family Bignoniaceae. The single species it contains, Spathodea campanulata, is commonly known as the African tulip tree. The tree grows between 7–25 m tall and is native to tropical dry forests of Africa. It has been nominated as among 100 of the “World’s Worst” invaders and is up there with yellow crazy ants.
Tropical tree day
Planet Ark’s Tropical Tree Day in early December, was a wonderful community get-together to help revegetate local bushland. Supported by Cairns Regional Council, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Pacific Toyota, community members planted 1200 trees within the Whiterock wetlands area.
Tree planting was followed by a BBQ, face painting and educational give aways.
The Taskforce attended as educators, helping to spread knowledge of how important it is to keep yellow crazy ants out of our native bushland and Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. It was also great to see other educators there sharing information about agile wallabies, bats and electric ants.
A huge thanks to Tim Brown for volunteering on the day and Ryan Zihrul and his crew from Cairns Regional Council revegetation nursery for propagating and growing all the trees that were planted.
Tim Brown, one of our Taskforce volunteers helping out at our education stall at the Tropical Tree Day event in White Rock
Volunteers planting 1200 native species at Disney St Reserve, White Rock
Tropical Tree Day volunteers helping out planting one of the 1200 trees
Michelle O’Loughlin from Cairns Regional Council doing her bit to protect our natural areas.
Volunteer receives employment
One of our wonderful Taskforce volunteers has been successful in finding paid work in the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program.
Ellin Christie has been volunteering with the Community Taskforce on the survey team for some months now and due to her experience and passion in the field has secured herself a job on the Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program field team.
She is one of many staff who started out volunteering with the Taskforce and has led to employment with the Authority.
This connection highlights the importance of strong relationships between the Government and community groups. The eradication of yellow crazy ants would not be possible without the support of so many dedicated partners and the Wet Tropics community.
Taskforce volunteer Ellin has secured employment with the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program. Pictured here at Owen Creek participating in a yellow crazy ant survey, looking for invasive ants in Kuranda tree frog habitat.
Ellin looking for invasive ants at Owen Creek. This volunteer position helped Ellin gain the experience she needed for employment in the program.
On 8 December Senator for Queensland Nita Green, was proud to announce the Australian Government’s $24.8m investment into the eradication of yellow crazy ants.
Yellow crazy ants are among the most serious global invasive pests. They kill native animals by spraying formic acid into their preys’ eyes which impacts heavily on the Wet Tropics biodiversity.
This funding is great news for the Wet Tropics Management Authority and their project partners who will continue the fight to keep yellow crazy ants out of our Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
A huge thanks to the Australian and Queensland governments for their continued support of the program. It is greatly appreciated.
Wet Tropics Management Authority staff and odour detection dogs with acting Executive Director Tim Wong, Senator Nita Green and Taskforce coordinator Sylvia Conway
Tis the season to take a break
Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, project partners, Traditional Owners, residents and local community for getting on board and supporting the Community Taskforce in the aim to eradicate yellow crazy ant infestations in and adjacent to the World Heritage Area and to maintain the Area’s outstanding universal and heritage value.
2023 brings more ant-ics from the Community Taskforce with a monthly survey starting in March, Invasive Ant Identification workshop and many local event displays. We are also offering FREE toolbox talks for local businesses and community groups. If you are keen to get involved or would like us to educate your group on invasive ants, please get in touch.
We will take a break and celebrate the end of another successful year protecting our Wet Tropics biodiversity from invasive ants.
The Taskforce wish you all a peaceful and relaxing holiday and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2023.
The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is home to many important species. Credit to artist Pip Tacla
Credit to Artist Rachael Kelly of Kuranda
Volunteer With Us
Volunteer and join the Taskforce or stay informed about yellow crazy ants
What’s Coming Up
You want to get involved in our awesome events?
KTF Monthly Survey
Looking for invasive ants in Kuranda tree frog habitat
WHERE: Owen Ck, Oak Forest Rd
WHEN: Starting back in March 2023
Invasive Ant ID Workshop
WHERE: Kuranda Recreation Centre, Fallon Rd, Kuranda
WHEN: Saturday 18 February 2023
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 some aspects of the program, including undertaking monitoring activities, completing surveys of known infestation areas and surveys in the surrounding area.
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
To volunteer with the Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce call (07) 4093 8989, email email@example.com or visit @ycacommunitytaskforce Facebook page.