Browsing ant detection dogs
The Territory remains on track to eradicate browsing ant from the Northern Territory by November 2021.
Black Labradors Willow and Cola are visiting the Territory this month as part of the National Browsing Ant Eradication Program and have been visiting local properties to sniff out the pests.
The pair are the only dogs in the world trained to detect browsing ant and play a vital role in protecting Australia from exotic pests and diseases by identifying exotic pests.
There are currently 20 properties in Darwin that have had browsing ants detected on the premise, including sites in East Arm, Frances Bay, Berrimah and Wickham Point.
Odour detection dogs’ surveillance abilities are integral to sniffing out the pests as their ability to cover two hectares a day makes them much more efficient than traditional visual surveillance methods; which involve humans walking and scanning the ground or attracting ants to food baits.
The dogs have completed surveillance at a recently-detected infested site at a transport logistics business in East Arm and identified a nest at the base of a light pole, as well as five other areas of browsing ant activity which have been treated.
Program staff are working closely with the business to ensure the risk is contained and there is minimal disruption to their operational activities.
Browsing ants are exotic to Australia and pose a threat to Australia’s environment and agricultural industries.
If you think you see a browsing ant population contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.