After 16 years of work by Department of Conservation staff (primarily Chris Green who is DOC’s Threats Technical Advisor), and volunteers the Argentine ant has been eradicated from Tiritiri Matangi Island. The insects are extremely difficult to eradicate, and the successful operation follows development of innovative bait and detection methods.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said “they may be small, but these ants are one of the most damaging of all invasive pest species. The World Conservation Union lists them as one of the 100 worst eco-invaders on Earth.” Argentine ants can form super-colonies with a huge appetite.
First discovered by Chris on Tiritiri Matangi in 2001, they are capable of killing native insects, lizards and even birds, and compete with them for food resources.