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11 May, 2021

Annual yellow crazy ant survey blitz biggest yet

A taskforce combining state and local governments, Traditional Custodians, non-government organisations and members of the community will conduct targeted searches for yellow crazy ants in sugar cane areas south of Cairns to detect any unknown areas of infestation.

The Wet Tropics Management Authority, in partnership with the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Council’s (FNQROC) Natural Assets Management Advisory Committee, will be holding its annual yellow crazy ant taskforce over the week of 17 to 21 May 2021.

Executive Director of the Authority Scott Buchanan said: “This year’s event will be our biggest one to date with more than 90 people surveying targeted sugarcane headlands on farms between East Trinity and Behana Creek.”

“These invasive ants can have a devastating impact on both the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the productivity of cane farming.”

NAMAC taskforce induction 2019

“This annual survey is also an ongoing initiative to create awareness amongst residents, locals and visitors to the region.

Nontoxic lures, consisting of a mixture of cat food and jam, are used in the surveys which are placed at five-meter intervals and identified by pink flags which are removed after each survey. The lures pose no threat to livestock and pets.

This annual taskforce event not only provides a valuable workforce, but also serves an educational purpose in training workers throughout Far North Queensland in the identification of yellow crazy ants and extends awareness to the community as a whole.

“To reduce the risk of accidental movement of yellow crazy ants, the Authority has worked closely with farmers and contractors,” Mr Buchanan said.

“Over the last seven years we have concentrated our efforts on delimitation and treatment of known infestations in Sawmill Pocket and Mount Peter, south of Cairns.”

“Most of these areas have now transitioned to spot treatment and long-term monitoring phases.”

“Now it’s time to ensure we have identified every last infestation in the district and the ongoing support from the community, farmers and the sugar industry has been crucial in achieving our current level of success.”

For more information on this event, or if you suspect you may have yellow crazy ants in or around your property please contact the Wet Tropics Management Authority at or call 4241 0525 with any enquiries.

NAMAC 2021 Proposed Survey Areas

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