Check out what we've been up to in November 2021
Kuranda students go crazy for ants
The Taskforce joined with Mike Greasley from Biosecurity Queensland’s National Electric Ant Eradication Program to talk with year 5 students at Kuranda District State College about yellow crazy ants and electric ants. The students were very excited to learn that both of these invasive ants are found in the Kuranda region. This generated a great deal of enthusiasm in the students to start recognising and reporting invasive ants. Other fun facts the students learned about yellow crazy ants included: they got their name from the erratic movements they display when disturbed; they spray formic acid from their abdomen into their prey’s eyes; they prey on other native insects, reptiles and larger marsupials; they can also forage in the tree tops and kill nesting birds. The key message was that invasive ants are a great threat to our World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics biodiversity, agriculture and lifestyle.
Mike Greasley from Biosecurity Queensland sharing knowledge with Kuranda District State College students and teachers about invasive ants
Kuranda tree frog habitat under threat
Frogs are sensitive, therefore great indicators of the health of any ecosystem. The endemic and critically endangered Litoria myola is found in the Kuranda region and its habitat is currently being threatened by invasive ants. Electric ants and yellow crazy ants have been found at six of the thirteen Kuranda Envirocare frog . Biosecurity Queensland and the Wet Tropics Management Authority are currently working to eradicate invasive ants from the region through their eradication programs. Other threats to the frogs of the Wet Tropics are invasive plants, habitat loss and erosion issues—rainforest frogs need mature riparian rainforest and running, clean water for their survival, and erosion washes sediment into the creeks and disturbs important frog breeding habitat. Local land care group Kuranda Envirocare are into their 10th year of a long-term frog monitoring project which aims to see an increase or decline in native frog populations in Kuranda creeks. Frog monitoring happens on the third week of every month and the public are welcome to join.
A new infestation of yellow crazy ants has been discovered along the Barron River. The infestation and surrounding area have been surveyed by the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s field team. With the wet season approaching there is urgency for treatment to be underway by early December. The infestation is providing a training opportunity for the Authority’s new odour detection dogs who have been contributing greatly to the eradication program by improving detection rates when ants are at very low numbers.
We aim to bring more awareness about the spread of yellow crazy ants to the local community so keep an eye out for yellow crazy ant banners popping up soon and remember to report suspect ants. Most importantly do not remove soil or vegetation from infestation zones. Call 1800 CRAZY ANT if you think you have seen a yellow crazy ant. If you are from a school or group that would like to learn more, please contact the Taskforce to book a fun science-based presentation.
Free domestic green waste disposal days
FREE green waste dumping day
Kuranda and Mareeba:
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December 2021
With cyclone season on the horizon, it’s time to clean up our gardens and yards, but care must be taken not to inadvertently spread yellow crazy ants.
If you live in an infestation there are a few simple things you can do to prevent the spread of yellow crazy ants:
- Dispose of all rubbish and green waste at appropriate council waste disposal facilities. These areas are treated regularly for both yellow crazy ants and electric ants.
- Do not illegally dispose of rubbish or green waste—this is a known vector of spreading invasive ants.
For a free inspection, call the Wet Tropics Management Authority on (07) 4241 0525. A yellow crazy ant field officer will inspect and/or treat pot plants, outdoor furniture, machinery, play equipment and any other items before you re-locate them.
Report illegal dumping of general or green waste to the Mareeba Shire Council on
1300 308 461.
What’s Coming Up
You want to get involved in our awesome events?
A huge thank you to all of our taskforce volunteers and project partners for your great work this year. I wish you a safe and prosperous holiday season.
Kuranda Envirocare Xmas party
Where: Big Sands @ Barron River, Buchan St, Karowa
When: Sunday 5 December 4 pm until sundown
BYO Drinks, a plate to share and a chair
Tropical Tree Day
Where: Disney St Reserve White Rock
When: Sunday 5th December 8-10 am
Yellow crazy ant stall, face painting, BBQ tree planting and more.
Please contact our coordinator for any inquiries or questions:
0409 647 714