‘Crazy’ ants that kill birds eradicated from Pacific atoll

National and World News

In this photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, yellow crazy ants are seen in a bait testing efficacy trial at the Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in December, 2015. An invasive species known as the yellow crazy ant has been eradicated from the remote U.S. atoll in the Pacific. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday, June 23, 2021, that the ants have been successfully removed from the refuge. (Robert Peck/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — An invasive species known as the yellow crazy ant has been eradicated from a remote U.S. atoll in the Pacific.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that the ants have been successfully removed from Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

The ants are native to Southeast Asia and have been unintentionally introduced to many areas of the Pacific including Hawaii. They stalk nesting seabirds on the uninhabited atoll. For about a decade, the ants have threatened the seabirds by swarming their nests and anything else on the ground.

Officials say the ants spray formic acid on the birds, causing injuries including blindness and even death.

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