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National Park Service Assesses Methods to Control Nonnative Ants on Santa Cruz Island

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Date: August 26, 2014
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau announced today that the park is preparing an Environmental Assessment for a proposed project to control or eliminate nonnative Argentine ants on Santa Cruz Island.

The National Park Service is seeking input from government agencies, scientists, organizations, and the general public regarding methods, concerns, or requirements that should be considered as the plan is developed. 

The project is being prepared in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) which owns some of the land where the Argentine ants occur.

Argentine ants, thought to have been accidentally introduced to Santa Cruz Island in the 1960s, have spread significantly to several locations covering 1,200 acres. They are known to have impacts on the functioning of an ecosystem. Argentine ants displace native ants and harass and kill pollinating bees on Santa Cruz Island. 

The park and TNC are working with university researchers, nonprofit organizations, and government staff to develop and test methods for Argentine ant control. Santa Cruz Island is the only park island known to have nonnative ants. It has 33 species of native ants. 

You may submit comments online on the project website or via mail at: 

Superintendent Channel Islands National Park 
Attn: Argentine Ant Project 
1901 Spinnaker Drive 
Ventura, California 93001  

Did You Know?

Brown pelican on nest

The Channel Islands are home to the largest breeding colonies of seabirds in southern California.