Tramp ants are a diverse group of invasive ant species which have become established widely across the globe. They can arrive in Australia through many transport pathways, and once here can affect ecosystems, social and cultural values, and human health. At least six tramp ant species have national priority for management because of their impact or potential impact on biodiversity. Management activities to minimise their damage include preventing entry, monitoring high-risk areas, removing new invaders, and dealing with existing incursions.
The map below shows the distribution of six tramp ant species identified in the Threat Abatement Plan to Reduce the Impacts of Tramp Ants on Biodiversity in Australia and its Territories, 2006. Tramp ants are a diverse group of ant species originating from many regions of the world and are highly mobile. Their impacts are high and may be felt directly through predation upon or competition with native animals, or indirectly by modifying habitat structure and altering ecosystem processes.
Listed key threatening processes for tramp ants (yellow crazy ants and red imported fire ants) under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EBPC Act) are listed below:
- Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity following invasion by the yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean
- The reduction in the biodiversity of Australian native fauna and flora due to the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (fire ant)
The tramp ant threat abatement plan establishes a national framework to guide and coordinate Australia's response to tramp ants,
- Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of tramp ants on biodiversity in Australia and its territories - 2006