Check out what we've been up to in July/ August 2021
Russett Park treatment
The Wet Tropics Management Authority’s field teams detected a small patch of yellow crazy ants on one property at the Russett Park infestation area during a survey completed this year.
For the month of August 2021, the Authority will treat the small patch for the second time using a more targeted baiting approach. Bait stations, made up of small metal boxes, will house an insecticide called Vanquish Pro to minimise the uptake of bait from off target species. The bait stations will prevent off target species from accessing the bait while allowing access for the ants.
Vanquish Pro uses the same active ingredient in AntOff, known as fipronil. The treatment is a mixture of sugar and protein and is applied as a paste. The paste, being wetter than a pellet is more attractive to ants in the dryer months and has as the additional attractant of sugar.
Bait stations will be placed in the small patch of yellow crazy ants detected and left for up to 3-4 days and any unused bait will be removed from the area.
The use of Vanquish Pro in baiting stations is a first for Russett Park in treating small patches of yellow crazy ants that remain in the infestation area. The Authority’s treatment strategy uses a precise application of bait rather than a broad scale treatment previously undertaken when yellow crazy ant numbers were high. It’s an innovative approach in improving the uptake of bait for yellow crazy ants while minimising impacts on off target species.
Sylvia Conway returns as the Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce Coordinator
Sylvia Conway will take on the role as the new Taskforce coordinator, as I prepare for maternity leave. Many of you may already know Sylvia as the previous Taskforce coordinator before my time with the Taskforce.
For those who don’t know Sylvia. Sylvia is a long term resident of the Kuranda region and knows yellow crazy ants well. She took over the role as Taskforce coordinator from Mikhaila Jacoby who started the Taskforce with Kuranda Envirocare back in 2014. For three years, Sylvia was at the forefront leading a Taskforce of volunteers alongside Gareth Humphreys from the Wet Tropics Management Authority in surveying and treating the Russett Park infestation area when it was at its peak and Authority field staff were minimal on the ground.
Sylvia has long dedicated her time to protecting our environment and more recently working with youth. In 2019, Sylvia with her twin sister Mia Conway won a Cassowary award for their not for profit environmental education group called Children for Change.
Sylvia is currently in training as I transition out of the role for the months of August and September. I expect my last day will be in the week of 20 September 2021.
VEXPO Volunteer Expo
On 25 July, the Taskforce attended FNQ Volunteer’s Volunteer Expo at TANK 3 Cairns Botanical Gardens. The event coincided with the Tanks Market Day, which produced a good turnout of people.
The VEXPO hosted a range of not-for-profit organisations providing opportunities for locals to volunteer.
Taskforce volunteer Tim Brown did an excellent job talking to locals about yellow crazy ants and electric ants, the work we do as a Taskforce and showing live yellow crazy ants. Together, we spoke to 16 groups and individuals.
It was great to hear from the community about what they know about yellow crazy ants and to provide an opportunity for people to be involved in the eradication of yellow crazy ants.
What’s Coming Up
You want to get involved in our awesome events?
Cairns and Hinterland Steiner School Spring Fair
The Taskforce will attend the Cairns and Hinterland Steiner School Spring Fair this Saturday. Taskforce volunteers are welcome to attend and chat yellow crazy ants at our info stall.
We will be sharing our stall with Mike Greasley from Biosecurity Queensland’s National Electric Ant Eradication Program.
Carnival on Collins
The Taskforce will also attend Carnival on Collins on Sunday 5 September 2021. We will be sharing a stall with the Wet Tropics Management Authority. Taskforce volunteers are welcome to attend and be part of the info stall.