MANAGEMENT, INVASIVE SPECIES, YELLOW CRAZY ANT WAKE ISLAND AIRFIELD This project will support the PRSC in its endeavors to achieve the following:
INRMP Goal No.
to develop and employ a systematic approach for onshore and offshore biosecurity, INRMP Objective IPM-2:
non-native species management actions, INRMP Objective FWM-2:
by conducting follow-up biological surveys for arthropods, and INRMP Objective FWM-4:
by supporting a systematic approach to the management of wildlife resources, namely seabirds, at Wake Atoll.
Invasive ant species management shall be the focus of this project, with a high level of importance placed on the Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplepsis gracilipes), a known invasive species with documented impacts throughout its non-native range.
In 2007 and 2009, contract biologists documented the presence of the Yellow Crazy Ant (further referred to in this SOW as YCA) during surveys of Wake Island.
The species was detected on all three islands in 2017 by USGS scientists during atoll-wide flora and fauna surveys.
YCA are omnivorous scavengers and will prey on invertebrates, arthropods, seeds, grains, and decaying plant matter.
They can kill invertebrate and small vertebrate prey items by spraying formic acid.
They rely heavily on food sources that provide protein and also on carbohydrates found in the honeydew produced by certain hemipteran species.
YCA may inhabit disturbed environments and are often associated with human habitations, but have also been known to invade previously undisturbed areas.
These ants may threaten native ecosystems and species.
YCA have significantly impacted Red Land Crabs (Gacarcoidea natalis) on Christmas Island, which in turn has impacted nutrient cycling there.
Additionally, YCA were shown to have decreased populations of native Sooty Terns (Sterna fuscata) on Bird Islands, Syechelles.
YCA can also devastate agricultural crops and facilitate establishment of other invasive species.