Kiritimati (pronounced Kirismas) is the world's largest atoll and home to a number of threatened seabird populations. Almost the entire atoll is a wildlife reserve.
Yellow crazy ants have not been seen in Kiritimati since November 2016. Monitoring (every 3 months) will continue until November 2019.
Grateful thanks to the MFAT Partnerships for International Development Fund for enabling this work, and to MELAD (Ministry of Environment, Land & Agricultural Development) staff, and Ray Pierce of Eco-Oceania for their contributions to this work.
In February 2013 a single small infestation of yellow crazy ants was discovered in the main settlement on Kiritimati, while Monica was running ant survey exercises for a biosecurity workshop led by Eco-Oceania’s Ray Pierce and Bill Nagle from Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII). Although the infestation only covered a little over a hectare, finding funding proved to be difficult.
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.
Pacific Biosecurity, together with our in-country partners from Tokelau EDNRE and Kiribati MELAD, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and PII have been looking for more effective longer term solutions to increase capacity in prevention and management of invasive ants throughout the Pacific.