Check out what we've been up to in June 2022
At the Cairns Ecofiesta on Sunday 29 May, the Community Taskforce shared a space with the Wet Tropics Management Authority to help showcase the great work being done by the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program.
Over 600 people visited the stall and learned about yellow crazy ants and the threats they pose on environment, lifestyle, agriculture and economy. On display were maps showing infestation areas near Kuranda, one from Russett Park of the first yellow crazy ant delimitation survey and the other more recently showed a heavy decline in yellow crazy ants—this highlights the ongoing successes of the Authority’s Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program.
The Community Taskforce recently launched an educational video called ‘Protect Your Patch‘ which demonstrates methods of quarantining a pot plant—we demonstrated these methods on the day, sending out an important message for gardeners to water bath or bare root their pot plants and check plant material for invasive ants before selling, swapping or sharing.
We spoke to a Daintree family who were concerned about electric ants recently discovered in their area. We gave them our information brochure, shared some electric ant information and referred them to Biosecurity Queensland Electric Ant Eradication Program. Community support is vital in eradicating invasive ants and by encouraging the local community to get involved we can all help to stop the spread of invasive ants.
Link to electric ant infestations: https://qgsp.maps.arcgis.com
Goodbye yellow crazy ants
Back in 2014, Russett Park resident’s homes were crawling with yellow crazy ants. In May 2022, we are finding zero yellow crazy ants in this area. This is great news for everyone but also a reminder to stay vigilant—just because no yellow crazy ants have been found doesn’t mean they are not there. The odour-detection dogs will be filling in a few gaps in the coming weeks. Please keep up the great work of reporting suspect ants.
The most recent Russett Park survey map (below) indicates the absence of yellow crazy ants by the green dots. Let’s hope the continuing annual surveys show the same results. A huge thanks to the Wet Tropics Management Authority and NQLMS field staff for their incredible efforts.
To report yellow crazy ants or book a toolbox talk for your business call 42410525 or 1800 CRAZY ANT.
Bringing the classroom outdoors
The Wet Tropics Management Authority has been sharing important knowledge about what they do to eradicate yellow crazy ants from our World Heritage Area with local school students. This has been a recent focus for the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program.
Authority staff have been sharing knowledge by providing lessons and new skills to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students at Parramatta Park State School. A field day held at the school in late March saw over 175 students participate in activities ranging from learning to place lures, conduct surveys, interpret map data and identify yellow crazy ants. The students also enjoyed presentations covering the history of the program and what a day in the life of a field officer entails. The aim of the field day was an introduction to a larger project to inspire students to take an interest in a STEM program run by the school.
Following this, the monitoring team from the Authority showed the students how to undertake basic luring surveys and terrestrial invertebrate surveys in preparation for completing these activities out in the field. Also included was the correct use of GPS units and planning monitoring surveys.
The Wet Tropics Management Authority’s First Nations staff have also had a valuable part to play by demonstrating to the students where Rainforest Aboriginal Peoples’ cultural knowledge and modern science meet.
Since the inception of the program, other schools have expressed interest in working with the Authority. The program can be tailored to fit with school requirements with the hope to see more schools engaging soon.
What’s Coming Up
You want to get involved in our awesome events?
Surveys in Kuranda tree frog habitat
Invasive ants have been found in critical frog habitat and the Kuranda treefrog is under threat from yellow crazy ants. Checking for invasive ants will ensure protection of this endemic and critically endangered species.
We need your help so please get in touch if you would like to assist with the survey.
Morning tea and lunch provided.
WHERE: Lower reaches of creeks in Kuranda district
WHEN: Monthly survey 8–12.30 pm
Sat 30 July—Jarawee Road
Sat 20 August—TBC
VEXPO – FNQ Volunteer Expo
Volunteering opportunities available to help at our info stall
WHEN: Sunday 24 July
WHERE: Tanks Art Centre, Collins Avenue, Cairns
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