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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 10-16

Why is Napier sea port a hot spot for invasive ants?

D.N.Gunawardana, L.R. Peacock, A.R. Flynn, T.T. Ashcroft and O.R. Green

ABSTRACT

Over the last 10 years the National Invasive Ant Surveillance programme, which was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (now Ministry for Primary Industries) in New Zealand, has resulted in a number of exotic ant detections at the Napier sea port and surrounding facilities. The surveillance is designed to detect newly established nests of exotic ant species at high risk sites around New Zealand, such as shipping ports. Potential factors contributing to exotic ant detections such as import commodity pathways and local climatic conditions in Napier were analysed. The present analysis indicates ant arrival alone or propagule pressure does not necessarily result in establishment. Abiotic factors, such as temperature and rainfall, are likely to be the main factors contributing to successful ant nest establishment at Napier sea port compared to the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga.

Keywords: National Invasive Ant Surveillance, pathways, detections, exotic ants, tramp ants, air temperature, annual rainfall, Napier sea port.

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