United Nations goes crazy over ant management

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Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, Rio-Tinto Alcan Gove and CSIRO are celebrating winning the prestigious Biodiversity category of the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards tonight.

The award was in recognition of the Yellow Crazy Ant Management Project.

'The Yellow Crazy Ant is one of the world's worst ant pests and is found within Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The ants form super colonies making them a serious threat to agriculture and to the natural environment,' CSIRO ecologist Dr Ben Hoffmann said.

For the past six years, Dhimurru and its project partners have been waging a war against this ant with outstanding success.

Yellow Crazy Ant has now been declared eradicated from 21 sites covering 246 hectares. This is twice as many eradications covering five times more area than all ant eradications published globally in the past 100 years.

Ecological monitoring has recorded full recovery at 17 sites within 12 months following treatment.

'These ants have the capacity to spread from Broome in Western Australia across to Queensland. We have a responsibility to attack this problem as urgently as we can before they get the opportunity to spread,' said Dhimurru senior Ranger Daryl Lacey.

Dhimurru would like to acknowledge the keen support shown for this program over the years with key players including, Rio Tinto Alcan Gove, CSIRO, traditional land owners, the Northern Territory Government, the Commonwealth Government, Conservation Volunteers Australia, the Indigenous Land Corporation, and the Aboriginal Benefits Account.

'This project has been a great example of what can be achieved when we work in partnerships together at a community level. Everyone involved should be proud of the recognition we have received through the UNAA Awards 2011,' said Steve Roeger Dhimurru's Executive Officer.

This Award follows the Yellow Crazy Ant Project winning three other national awards in 2010: the equally prestigious inaugural 'Caring for Country Award' at the NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) awards, a Banksia Award (Biodiversity category) and the gold Banksia Award which takes the accolade 'best of the best'.

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