Reduction in impacts of tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006

Threat abatement plan
ISBN 0 642 55247 9

About the plan

Invasive alien tramp ants are a diverse group of species originating from many regions of the globe which arrive at Australia's doorstep through a variety of transport pathways. They share genetic, behavioural, and ecological attributes that influence their probability of entry, establishment and spread, ecological dominance, and high impact.

While their impacts on biodiversity in Australia are not well quantified, many tramp ants have the ability to affect Australia's native biodiversity. Their impacts may be felt directly through predation upon or competition with native animals, or indirectly by modifying habitat structure and altering ecosystem processes. Most tramp ants have multi-sectoral impacts, and can affect plant and animal health, social and cultural values, and human health.

The effective and appropriate management of threats from tramp ants poses a formidable challenge to Australia, testing the continuum of biosecurity, from pre-border surveillance through to pest management. Individual tramp ant species are at varying stages in the invasion process, so the nature and scale of management responses will vary accordingly.

The tramp ant threat abatement plan establishes a national framework to guide and coordinate Australia's response to tramp ants, identifying the research, management, and other actions necessary to ensure the long-term survival of native species and ecological communities affected by tramp ants.

The goal of the plan is to minimise the impact of invasive tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories by protecting threatened native species and ecological communities, and preventing further species and ecological communities from becoming threatened.

The department hasn't established a specific implementation team for tramp ants. Initially there was the National Tramp Ant Committee (NTAC) which did have a wide mandate and occasionally assisted with elements of the TAP, but the NTAC has ceased and has been replaced by the Tramp ant consultative committee, which focuses on emergency responses to tramp ant issues.

Review status

The Minister noted a review of the tramp ant threat abatement plan on 19 February 2013. He agreed that the tramp ant threat abatement plan not be varied and that a threat abatement advice be developed to supplement the tramp ant threat abatement plan. A draft threat abatement advice is in preparation.

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