The crazy ant, an invasive species in the Port of Barcelona

The Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of Catalonia is carrying out the monitoring and control actions of the crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis), an invasive alien species, in the Port of Barcelona. As reported by the Generalitat in a statement, the work will allow an in-depth prospecting of the area and check the extension of this species, carry out controls with biocides (chemicals to slow growth harmful organisms) and assess the effects of the treatment.

This invasive exotic ant it is native to tropical Africa and was detected by first time in Catalonia in February 2020, when a worker was found at an access door to the Port of Barcelona.

Subsequently, more in a roundabout and several colonies under the sewer covers and supply, but the distribution is still very limited in the area of ​​the Port of Barcelona, ​​which can facilitate control actions and attempt to eradicate them.

The main impacts caused by this ant in invasion areas is that it displaces other native species and other invertebrates.

It is very adaptable and presents a very high dispersion level, So if you are not comfortable in a place, you can look for new locations and increase the level of dispersion.

Like other invasive species, the main route of entry for this species is through the transport of goods.

Biodiversity loss

In this sense, the Port of Barcelona is preparing a fighting strategy against invaders, in collaboration with the University of Barcelona and other specialized centers.

Invasive alien species are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss.

Parallel to the environmental problems they cause, it is worth highlighting the economic impact of its effects and that can become a public health problem, such as the tiger mosquito or the Caucasian pampas.

Acció Climàtica, Alimentació i Agenda Rural has activated an Invasive Exotic Species Alert Network, centralized in a mailbox that gathers all the news and urgent communications related to the problem.

Related news

According to the EXOCAT project, to date, in Catalonia 1,755 exotic species have been detected.

Of these, 203 (11.6%) have invasive behavior, that is, they cause impacts in Catalonia, whether on biodiversity, economic or public health, among others. EF

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