Invasive species pressure on the Wet Tropics of Queensland

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Key finding

Introduction and spread of invasive species and pathogens throughout the Wet Tropics bioregion is increasing more rapidly than can be managed through existing programs for their removal.

Wet Tropics of Queensland (information applies statewide, map locations are for reference only)

The highly restricted nature of many endemic species within the Wet Tropics of Queensland renders the native flora and fauna particularly vulnerable to the threat posed by environmentally invasive species and wildlife pathogens.

A small number of newly-emerging weed species are of extreme management concern:

  • Miconia (Miconia calvescens, M. racemosa and M. nervosa)
  • Mikania (Mikania micrantha)
  • Limnocharis (Limnocharis flava)
  • Koster’s curse (Clidemia hirta)
  • Siam weed (Chromolaena odorata).

Eight species of frogs in the Wet Tropics have experienced severe population declines due to chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). These locally endemic rainforest stream-dwelling frog species, which were once distributed widely and in high numbers throughout the Wet Tropics, vanished from altitudes above 300m within a very short period of time.

The yellow crazy ant (YCA) has become established in two locations within the Wet Tropics. They are general omnivorous feeders with versatile nesting habits, and are capable of locating suitable food and nesting sites within any area that they invade. These traits allow the YCA to build up to high densities, form super-colonies, and become the most common consumer over large areas on both the ground and in the forest canopy disrupting and transforming ecosystems.

More information:

Indicator: Invasive species

Invasive species pressure on the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage property.