Successful aerial baiting on Christmas Island

Ranger Chris hooks up a load of ant bait

Chris from the park hooks up a load of ant bait

A Christmas Island rock pool from the air

A Christmas Island rock pool from the air

Our recent round of aerial baiting to fight super colonies of yellow crazy ants went well – baiting more than 1,000 hectares, over about 80 hours of flight time.

In 2002 we aerially baited 2,500 hectares and in 2009 we covered 800 hectares, eliminating 99 per cent of crazy ants in areas we baited. Unfortunately, the crazy ants have been slowly reinvading parts of the island. Their largest threat is to the red crabs that annually migrate across the island to breed.

Before this round our Invasive Species Team went in on foot to map the extent and locations of 100 super colonies. We found over 1,000 hectares covered, which was more than we were expecting.

To avoid harming native species we only bait in super colony areas where the ants have driven other wildlife away. As an extra precaution we lure robber crabs away using a mix of chicken food and shrimp powder (belacan).

Our officers are monitoring the success of the baiting by trekking out on foot to ensure the super colonies targeted have been wiped out. We hope to update you with final results in the first part of next year.

Ant bait drying

Ant bait spread out to dry in preparation for baiting

Dion, Christmas Island National Park

More Christmas Island National Park stories

Watch the red crabs migrating here

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