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Invader at the gate: The status of red imported fire ant in Australia and Asia

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Wylie, F. R., Yang, C.-C. S. and Tsuji, K. (2020) Invader at the gate: The status of red imported fire ant in Australia and Asia. Ecological Research, 35 (1). pp. 6-16. ISSN 0912-3814

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1703.12076

Publisher URL: https://esj-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1440-1703.12076


Since it first secured a foothold in the southern United States in the 1930s from its native South America, the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren has now spread to more than 20 countries and territories. We update the status of S. invicta in Australia, China and Taiwan and discuss the invasion threat posed to other countries in the region, including India, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. An analysis of the manner of spread and responses by governments to the invasion reveals some important lessons: (a) S. invicta can be eradicated if detected early enough, (b) there has been a level of unpreparedness and under-resourcing of quarantine agencies in some countries to deal with the pest, (c) strict controls on the movement of products likely to harbor S. invicta are essential in preventing or slowing the spread of the pest and has a major influence on the success or failure of eradication efforts and (d) a coordinated agency response is necessary to prevent treatment failure. Currently, cargo container traffic is the main mechanism for movement of S. invicta around the world and can only be addressed by international collaboration. Given the recent fire ant propagule pressure on Japan and South Korea via container traffic from China, it is likely that China may be a new bridgehead for the invasion of its neighbors in Asia and beyond.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:This manuscript was submitted based on a symposium held on 18 March 2017, at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of Japan in Sapporo, Japan.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Modelling > Animal
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Live Archive:04 Feb 2020 02:23
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 01:06

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