Yellow Crazy Ant Response Wins Australian Biosecurity Award

North Coast Local Land Services in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries was recognised at the Australian Biosecurity Awards in March for the eradication of Yellow Crazy Ants (YCA) in the North Coast.

The Yellow Crazy Ant response was the recipient in the Government Category which recognises individuals, groups or organisations within the government that have demonstrated a significant contribution to maintaining Australia’s biosecurity integrity.

North Coast Local Land Service General manager Louise Orr said the award was a credit to everyone involved, including many dedicated and determined community members.

‘This award recognises the enormous effort made by our community, including staff. Together, we all play a vital role in helping to protect against pests, and support biosecurity in our community.’

YCA are highly destructive environmental pests that can impact on human amenity, agricultural production and the horticultural industry. When YCA was detected on the NSW north coast, a well-executed and coordinated response plan helped control and eradicate this significant invasive pest.

Following a report from a member of the public, established infestations were identified at Lismore and Terania Creek. The detection was especially significant, given Terania Creek is the location of a rainforest protection campaign that helped shape the modern Australian environmental movement.

Various innovative approaches were used, including experimental water crystal baits the use of a retrained koala odour detection dog to detect YCA.

The response plan was a success, with proof of freedom confirmed at both sites and statistical modelling indicating that it is highly unlikely that other infestations remain undetected nearby.

Ms Orr said ‘The response plan was widely promoted, with significant local engagement undertaken by Local

Land Services. As a result, the aim to eradicate Yellow Crazy Ants gained excellent and broad support from the people of Lismore and Terania Creek’.

North Coast Local Land Services and NSW DPI were nominated by Andrew Cox, Invasive Species Council Chief Executive Officer.

ENDS

Media contact: Emily Findlay, North Coast Local Land Services 0419 221 136

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