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Greens Concerned About Crazy African Ants

24 April 2002

Green Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said he was concerned that a species of African crazy ant discovered in the Port of Auckland this week is suddenly devastating marine species on Christmas Island.

The yellow crazy ant was introduced onto Christmas Island west of Darwin between 1915 and 1934. The population has behaved benignly until the late 1990s when the species suddenly started devouring millions of the world famous Christmas Island crabs and targeting every species that lives on the island including birds, bats and reptiles.

The latest issue of Australian Geographic has just reported the drastically changing behaviour of the species and says scientists are now scrambling to stop the damage they are causing.

"The Greens are particularly concerned at the discovery of these ants in Auckland, especially given their unpredictable nature and their newly discovered destructive capabilities," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Given the behaviour of this species it is crucial that it never establishes itself here. This is a highly unpredictable and very dangerous species, as we are only just beginning to learn.

"It is crucial that we treat the recent incursion with utmost seriousness and do everything in our power to eradicate this incursion promptly and keep it from ever returning."

Ends

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