Australia was invaded by fire ants in the late 1990s, but not discovered until 2001. They had snuck into the Port of Brisbane and by that time had spread to south-west suburbs between Brisbane and Ipswich. Ever since then there has been an effort to eliminate Solenopsis invicta, also known as the Red imported fire ant (RIFA).
Deemed the Most successful creature that has ever lived in an instructive American video, according to the Invasive Species Council:
- ‘Fire ants are one of the world’s worst super pests and, if they are allowed to spread across the continent, their impact will be greater than cane toads, rabbits, feral cats and foxes combined.
On July 13 this year the Commonwealth and State Agricultural Ministers Meeting agreed to a joint-funded National Fire Ant Eradication Program requiring $592 million for joint-funded new response plan over 2023 – 2027 as the first phase in a revamped eradication program targeting complete eradication in 2032. In 2023/24 $133 million was needed. However, so far only Qld and NSW have honoured the commitment, as revealed in the Invasive Species Council’s media release Leaked government documents reveal fire ant funding failure that puts eradication plans at risk. Continue reading Australia drops the ball on fire ant invasion