Declared Pest Plants & Animals
Townsville Local Government Area Pest Management Plan (PDF, 2.2 MB) outlines Council's strategies for preventing the introduction, eradicating and containing restricted pest plants and animals in Townsville. This plan will soon be replaced with the Townsville Biosecurity Plan.
Yellow Crazy Ants
The management of the Yellow Crazy Ant has recently become the responsibility of Local Governments. Little is known about the population size and location of the Yellow Crazy Ant in Townsville. Under the Biosecurity Act 2014 the Yellow Crazy Ant must not be distributed or disposed of into the environment.
At this stage there are only three known areas of Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) colonies in the region - Nome and Mt St John and James Cook University.
The Environmental Services team are currently working towards a solution to the eradication of the Yellow Crazy Ant issue in our region and are:
- conducting site inspections and communications with local residents and businesses in the identified areas;
- conducting mapping of YCA. This is to better understand the location and numbers of YCA;
- working with YCA experts to develop options available for the control YCA.
Watch our informative video to help you identify yellow crazy ants.
Identifying yellow crazy ants
- long slender body – 5mm body length
- very long legs and antennae
- brownish-yellow or orange-yellow, with a brown abdomen, sometimes striped
- similarity to a small green ant (but yellow)
- erratic, frantic, crazy movement
- ability to forage day and night (they are less active in intense heat and heavy rain)
- sting using a spray of formic acid (not a bite)
What to do if you spot a Yellow Crazy Ant
Report your sighting to council as soon as possible on 1300 878 001. It is important to report any sightings so we can track and monitor any movements.
If you believe you live in or near a colony, do not move vegetation waste, soil, pot plants or other materials that might contain yellow crazy ants.
Fire ants are from South America and are native to the floodplains of the Paraguay River in Brazil, Paraguay and Northern Argentina.
In Australia, there have been six separate incursions of fire ants. Five recorded in Queensland; and one in Port Botany NSW.
If you have sighted a Fire Ant contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Dingoes / wild dogs
Dogs, wild dogs, feral dogs and dingoes: what's the difference?
Wild dogs are all dogs that are not domesticated including dingoes, feral dogs and hybrids/crosses between the two.
Dingoes are native Australian dogs believed to have migrated from South-East Asia about 5000 years ago, and have had a lasting natural impact on Australian native animals.
Dingoes are not easily distinguished from domestic dogs. They can be identified only by detailed skull measurements, relative tooth size and by their genetic makeup. They:
- Are usually ginger and yellow with white feet and chest
- May be pure white, ginger, black and tan, or pure black, and
- Breed only once a year, in early winter.
Feral dogs are abandoned or strayed domestic dogs living in a wild state in the bush or in an urban environment.
Domestic dogs are all dogs bred and kept as pets, guard dogs or working dogs. They may also behave like wild dogs if they are free roaming and not adequately controlled.
Dingoes and wild dogs are restricted invasive animals under the Biosecurity Act 2014. A Dingo must not be moved, kept, fed, given away, sold or released into the environment without a permit. Legally, the primary responsibility for wild dog control lies with landholders. In built-up areas the local government may help coordinate control programs.
- the availability of water on farms and potential prey such as native animal species, livestock and rabbits as well as the availability of food due to with human settlement.
- In rural areas dingoes/ wild dogs can reduce the viability of sheep, goat and cattle farming.
- Dingoes/ wild dogs can be a hazard to livestock, poultry, pets and humans in boundary areas between urban and rural environments.
- Dingoes/ wild dogs can carry both canine and human diseases, including distemper, neospora, canine parvovirus and hydatid worms.
There is no evidence to suggest that pure dingoes, feral dogs or a cross between the two occur in Townsville. If you see what appears to be a feral dog, it is more likely to be a dingo hybrid or of dingo origin. In most cases, Council treats all problem animals in Townsville as wild dogs.
Council has a Wild Dog Management Strategy for managing the impacts of wild dogs. This strategy specifies priorities for action in the management of dingoes and wild dogs in the urban and rural areas in Townsville.
Biosecurity Queensland has more information on dingoes and wild dogs.
Feral pigs are a restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and a high priority for control under the Townsville Local Government Area Pest Management Plan. It is illegal to move, fed, give away, sell or release feral pigs into the environment without a permit. The Townsville Local Government A Plan to outlines actions to contain feral pigs, including trapping and baiting.
Biosecurity Queensland has more information and factsheets on feral pigs.
Indian Myna Bird
The Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis) is a native bird to India, Asia and the Middle East. It was introduced to Australia in the 1860’s and has been established as an invasive species. The Indian Myna reduces biodiversity, impacts agriculture and has the potential to affect human and animal health through disease transmission. To find out more about the Indian Myna and the impacts it causes, download the Indian Myna Bird Fact Sheet.
Under the Townsville Local Government Area Pest Management Plan the Indian Myna Bird (Magnetic Island only) has been identified as a pest animal for early detection and eradication.
A local Indian Myna Bird Control Project has been initiated. For information on this project or to obtain a Indian Myna Bird Trap contact the Ross Valley Lions Club:
Ross Valley Lions Club
Mobile: 0417 747 589
Parthenium is a serious weed that will grow anywhere. It is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and has been identified as a high priority local pest plant for early detection and eradication under the Townsville Local Government Area Pest Management Plan. There are infestations in the rural areas of Townsville which are currently being surveyed and treated.
Biosecurity Queensland has more information on the Parthenium weed.
Wild peafowl (peacocks) are found on Mount Stuart and Magnetic Island. Council is working with landholders to remove wild peafowl from their properties.
Peafowl Fact Sheet. (PDF)
There are a number of species of fish in Townsville's waterways that compete with native fish for resources and threaten the natural ecosystem of our rivers.
for more information download Pest Fish Fact Sheet.
Thunbergia Fragrans is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2015. It must not be given away, sold or released into the environment without a permit.
Biosecurity Queensland has more information on thunbergia fragrans.
European rabbits are a restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and are noted as a medium priority for control under Townsville's Pest Management Plan. It is illegal to move, fed, give away, sell or release rabbits into the environment without a permit
Rabbits are not permitted to be kept by residents in Queensland. Biosecurity Queensland regulates the keeping of rabbits.
Rubber Vine, Chinee Apple, Prickle Bushes, and Lantana
These restricted plants are so widespread in Townsville that the management objective is to contain them to their existing extent. Eradication of these plats will form part of a long term strategy.
Notifying council about pests
Have you discovered a new weed or a new infestation of an existing weed? Seen a pest animal that you haven't noticed in Townsville before?
Download the Declared Pest Permit (PDF, 125.9 KB)