Invasive species and pathogens pressure on the Wet Tropics of Queensland
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.
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. They include Miconia (Miconia calvescens, M. racemosa and M. nervosa), Mikania (Mikania micrantha), Limnocharis (Limnocharis flava), Koster’s curse (Clidemia hirta) and 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, once found widely and in high numbers throughout the Wet Tropics, have vanished from altitudes above 300m.
The yellow crazy ant (YCA) has become established in two locations within the Wet Tropics. General omnivorous feeders with versatile nesting habits, YCA can locate 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, both on the ground and in the forest canopy, disrupting and transforming ecosystems.
Invasive species and pathogen pressure on the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Property.
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