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Work begins to eradicate yellow crazy ants

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 16 July 2004


The CSIRO and the Northern Land Council have begun efforts to eradicate the yellow crazy ant from Arnhem Land.

The ants can spray formic acid which is capable of blinding animals and people can get it on their hands and then rub it into their eyes.

They are also an environmental and agricultural pest.

The CSIRO says they are one of the world's worst invasive species.

Colonies have already wreaked environmental havoc on Christmas Island, leading to a decline of 30 per cent in the island's famous crab population and threatening a number of other species.

The CSIRO wants to stop that from happening again by spreading environmentally sensitive baits across three quarters of the affected areas within a year.

The leader of the eradication team, Ben Hoffman, says the project will depend on the efforts of traditional owners.

Mr Hoffmann says the local knowledge of traditional owners will be vital when searching for ant strongholds.

"The project would not be proceeding without the approval of the traditional owners and the local Yolngu people," he said.

"It is the Yolngu people who are conducting the majority of the work out there and not individual government organisations."


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