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Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Reef Trust Partnership

Super-charging Biosecurity Surveillance for early detection of cryptic pest fauna in the GBR World Heritage Area

Indicative Funding
$224,939 over 2 years (administered by Department of Environment and Science)
Summary
This project will use the emerging technique of environmental DNA (eDNA) to improve the monitoring capacity for targeted invasive ants (yellow crazy ants, electric ants, red imported fire ants, tropical fire ants) across high-risk islands of the GBR. The main aim is to conduct eDNA monitoring of four invasive ant species and identify early incursions and potential changes in abundance over time. Field sampling will involve simple protocols and will be in charge of Indigenous Rangers, citizen scientists, tour operators or others through either structured or opportunistic monitoring programs. Detection of target species could trigger eradication programs and decrease the impact of invasive ants on the native biodiversity. Information provided by the project will also allow prioritisation of future efforts to prevent future incursions.
Investigators
Cecilia Villacorta Rath and Natale Snape (TropWATER)
Keywords
Early detection; eDNA; Invasive species; Monitoring; Ants; Great Barrier Reef

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