5 June 2012

Remote sensing helps target fire ants

Biosecurity Queensland’s fire ant control centre is using remote-sensing technology to locate any remaining fire ants in the state, to better target campaigns to destroy the pest.

The South American species measures only 2-6mm in size, yet poses serious social, economic, and environmental threats. The ants were first detected in Brisbane in February, 2001.

As populations have been greatly reduced, the remaining nests are becoming harder to find, and have stretched the centre’s manpower resources.

"We needed to be smarter about it," fire ant control centre deputy director, Craig Jennings said. "We started to do some research on better surveillance techniques and the first thing we put out was the detection dogs.

"The second thing we looked at was a tool to do large-area surveillance, and that's where the remote sensing comes in."

Full story from Spatial Source.

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