Management prioritisation is influenced by many factors. Key factors are the impact and extent of the problem. The known effects of the species in other areas also influences prioritisation.
Other external factors such as critical work, government priorities, availability of funding, and more pressing problems will all influence prioritisation. These are often situational and are not discussed here. However, in the critical situations described below, extra effort should be made to prioritise ant problems.
Definition of priorities:
- critical: attempts to manage the ant should be initiated immediately. The management goal should be eradication. Implement containment and movement controls immediately. Contact regional agencies and appropriate technical experts as soon as possible to get assistance
- urgent: attempts to manage the ant should be initiated as soon as possible. The management goal should be reduction of ant numbers. Implement containment and movement controls. Contact regional agencies and technical experts if needed to get assistance
- non-urgent: management should be attempted if funds become available. Continue monitoring from time to time. If the situation worsens (greater impacts), the problem should be treated with more urgency.
|species||initial detection||spread to new areas||sudden increase in numbers||widespread at low numbers||in conservation area||marked impacts|
|little fire ant||critical||urgent||urgent||non-urgent||critical||urgent|
|red imported fire ant||critical||urgent||urgent||non-urgent||critical||urgent|
|yellow crazy ant||urgent||non-urgent||urgent||non-urgent||urgent||urgent|
|African big-headed ant||urgent||non-urgent||urgent||non-urgent||urgent||urgent|
|13 other problem ants||urgent||non-urgent||urgent||non-urgent||non-urgent||urgent|
Note that the above suggestions are guidelines for the minimum recommended response. We also recommend that eradication should be considered as a goal for all initial detections of the five worst threat species.