Dog fails to find ants

Kapiti News - - News -

An ex­pert snif­fer-dog has scoured Ka¯ piti Is­land for any sign of Ar­gen­tine ants and given it the all-clear.

Spe­cial­ist ant-de­tec­tion spaniel RhysJones and han­dler Brian Shields were drafted in from Auck­land Coun­cil’s biose­cu­rity team.

The Con­ser­va­tion Dogs Pro­gramme, sup­ported by na­tional part­ner Ki­wibank has a to­tal of 31 pest de­tec­tion dogs with Rhys-Jones be­ing the only Ar­gen­tine ant dog.

The team were asked to check if the in­va­sive ants had reached the Ka¯ piti Is­land Na­ture Re­serve af­ter be­ing found at the main­land step­ping off point at Para­pa­raumu Beach ear­lier this year.

Ar­gen­tine ants are widespread in Ka¯ piti but this nest was close to where is­land tourism providers de­part, in­creas­ing con­cerns ants could reach the na­tive bird sanc­tu­ary.

The sweep was part of the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion’s com­pre­hen­sive plan to keep the Na­ture Re­serve free of Ar­gen­tine ants.

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