How the war against crazy pest was won
WITH the help of a detection dog and 'community vigilance', the NSW Department of Primary Industries has announced it has finally managed to eradicate an outbreak of a pest species.
In a statement DPI announced, due to this eradication, the organisation will shut down movement restrictions for yellow crazy ant in previously infested areas of Lismore and Terania Creek from December 31, 2019.
DPI's state yellow crazy ant planning manager Scott Charlton said an intensive response from DPI, local land services and the Lismore community has seen the devastating environmental and agricultural pest removed from NSW.
"No ants have been detected in the area since May this year," Mr Charlton said.
"Extensive surveillance, including the use of a yellow crazy ant detection dog, indicates the threat has been removed and there is no longer a need to maintain movement restrictions.
"This is a great success story, where the community has worked with government to successfully rid their environment of a serious introduced pest."
Mr Charlton said the organisations "used all available tools to ensure the operation was effective and everyone involved played an important role in this successful biosecurity operation".
Authorities were first alerted to the presence of yellow crazy ants on May 14 2018, when local resident Milo Yiegh reported ants he found on trees in the Lismore CBD to the NSW biosecurity hotline.
DPI and local land services immediately began surveillance and control efforts.
Mr Charlton said the multi-agency biosecurity operation was able to manage the yellow crazy ants infestation thanks to the efforts, co-operation and ongoing patience of the community.
"DPI, local land services, Lismore Council, Rous County Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife and private contractors worked as key partners in surveillance and treatment operations and in community education," he said.
"Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and the community has played a vital role in helping us rid NSW of yellow crazy ant by following the movement restriction rules and reporting signs of suspect ants."
Yellow crazy ant is listed as prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2015, as it is an environmental pest which poses a serious risk to the economy, environment and community.
Reports of any suspected exotic ants can be made on the NSW DPI website or by calling the biosecurity hotline, 1800 680 244.