The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
Senator Nita Green, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Senator for Queensland
The Hon Meaghan Scanlon MP, Queensland Minister for Environment and Science
The Federal and Queensland Labor Governments today welcomed a new detection dog, Brodie, to the team that is leading the fight against one of the world’s worst most invasive pests, Yellow Crazy Ants.
The 2-year-old black Labrador has finished her training at the Credible Canine training facility and now joins fellow paw-fessional pups Fury, Luna and Pretzel on the job sniffing out ants.
Exotic invasive Yellow Crazy Ants are among the most serious global invasive pests. They are highly aggressive insects, which swarm and kill much bigger native species. They do this by shooting acid into the eyes of their prey, blinding them and leaving them defenceless to the attacking ants. When introduced into an ecosystem, they leave a path of destruction in their wake.
The four dogs are tasked with protecting the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and its precious ecosystems which are home to native species including the endangered southern cassowary, mahogany glider and northern bettong.
These dogs sniff out the remaining small, otherwise undetectable pockets of ants with their heightened sense of smell. For the past few months Brodie has been trained using play and practice in detecting hidden items.
The four detection dogs are part of the Albanese Government’s $24 million Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program, jointly funded with the Queensland Labor government.
The program is administered by the Wet Tropics Management Authority, overseen by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:
“The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is a region of spectacular scenery and is one of the largest areas of rainforest wilderness in Australia.
“When Yellow Crazy Ants spread, they can quickly outnumber native species and invade their habitat, killing and displacing native species.
“Managing this pest will restore the tropical rainforests of North Queensland for the native species that live there, like the southern cassowary, mahogany glider and northern bettong.
“The team here have huge job ahead of them, but the introduction of their newest canine cadet Brodie will provide a big help.
“Brodie the hardworking black Labrador will now work with her team to help them cover more ground and accelerate efforts to eradicate these invasive pests for good.”
Quotes attributable to the Queensland Minister for Environment and Science, Meaghan Scanlon:
“The Wet Tropics is a living museum and home to one of the most unique natural spaces on earth.
“Brodie will no doubt play an important role in the fight against these ants.
“The Palaszcuzk Government has already invested millions of dollars to restore habitats, work with First Nations communities and combat invasive species like Yellow Crazy Ants.
“And it’s clear to see our joint funding with the Australian Government is providing an even greater boost to efforts on the ground in the Wet Tropics.”
Quotes from Senator for Queensland, Nita Green:
“The Wet Tropics Management Authority and the officers on the ground in Far North Queensland are world class in their management efforts against Yellow Crazy Ants.
“We are so lucky to live in the Tropics among World Heritage rainforests and we also understand the potentially devastating impact of this pest on our environment and economy.
“While these dogs are the rockstars of the management program, they are just one of the tools in the toolbox to help eradicate these harmful pests.”
Quotes attributable to the State Member for Cairns, Michael Healy:
“The Yellow Crazy Ant detection dogs are vital members of the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s team.
“Their powerful noses are useful tools in the fight against the spread of one of the world’s most invasive species.
“I am proud to welcome Brodie to the team as she begins her im-paw-tant job of sniffing out yellow crazy ant nests in one of Queensland’s most environmentally and culturally significant areas.”