In December 2014 the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme contracted Pacific Biosecurity to lead implementation of the Activity “Building resilience to biosecurity threats from invasive ants throughout the Pacific” over five years. This Activity completed at the end of 2019.
Our in-country partners were Tokelau EDNRE (Department of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment and Kiribati MELAD (Ministry of Environment, Land & Agricultural Development). Regional agency partners were the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Fiji, and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa. The New Zealand partners were Pacific Biosecurity (PB) in Wellington and Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII) in Auckland. We were also aided by many colleagues in the Pacific and beyond, with special thanks to Ray Pierce of Eco Oceania and Viv Van Dyk and her team at Bait Technology / Flybusters Consulting.
We delivered five outputs to contribute to our goal:
January 2020: Unfortunately, two and a half years after last detection, we found a few yellow crazy ants in Kiritimati. Our local partners are monitoring the ants, and have the tools and resources to treat the ants if numbers increase. However, yellow crazy ant numbers in Tokelau remain at a manageable level.
March 2019: With our partners we appear to have eradicated yellow crazy ant in Kiritimati, Kiribati, which has not been detected for 2 years. We have sustained control of yellow crazy ant in Tokelau.
June 2018: We are four years into the Activity. As well as being on track for all our outputs, we have assisted other countries and organisations with advice, capacity-building, and resources, including SOP Manu in French Polynesia, and the Agriculture team in Tuvalu.