Good Girl 'Fury' Is Battling Invasive Yellow Crazy Ants Destroying Rainforests
She may be man's best friend, but Fury the labrador is about to be unleashed on an invasive species of ant threatening to destroy heritage-listed rainforests in Far North Queensland.
The ants are a serious environmental and agricultural threat to the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, where they were first detected in 2010.
Trained odour detection dogs have been used to locate infestations of electric ants and red imported fire ants in Queensland, but Fury is the only dog in the world capable of tracking down yellow crazy ants.
It is an important breakthrough in tracking the destructive ants, Environment Minister Sussan Ley said.
"The protection of the Wet Tropics and its wonderful array of native species is critical," she said.
"These ants are a massive problem for native species and for farmers and while we have invested significantly in reducing infestation in the past we are committing to carrying on with the challenge."
Fury's success will pave the way to extend the program, Leslie Shirreffs of the Wet Tropics Management Authority said.
"We aim to obtain three more dogs and another handler as part of the program," she said.
"The odour detection dogs will work primarily to survey residential areas and open suburban areas within the infestation and will also be used in the search for new infestations."
The Wet Tropics of Queensland was first inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988.
It is home to rare species of plants and animals and is the only place in Australia where Aboriginal people have permanently inhabited a tropical rainforest environment.