Crazy ants, farming ants, and kangaroo fodder on Majura Firing Range.

To: "'Paul Fennell'" <>, "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: Crazy ants, farming ants, and kangaroo fodder on Majura Firing Range.
From: "Suzanne Edgar" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 13:19:33 +1100

Ants  in my yards, front and back, @ Garran, have gone crazy too but not in pants, yet



From: Paul Fennell [
Sent: Wednesday, 31 March 2010 5:32 PM
To: 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: [canberrabirds] Crazy ants, farming ants, and kangaroo fodder on Majura Firing Range.


The little black ants in my back yard have gone nuts.  They appear to be predicting the end of the world, or at least a bit of bad weather.  However, they obviously not consulted the ACT Weather Forecast.


On another front, today at Majura Firing Range, we came upon one little gum sapling with a lot of ants (looking a bit like meat ants) tending to some insects about a centimetre long, that looked a bit like miniature cicadas, but where black with red eyes (or near the eyes) and with white splotches on them.  Seemed a bit like a dairy scene.  Any clues?

Looked pretty much like these, but I recall more white, and they were quite small, about 12 mm or so.  We could not find any more on any other saplings in the immediate vicinity.



The Woodland Survey went well in fine, cool weather, with little breeze until late mid morning.  Most sites the usual suspects, but with lots of Maned Geese in between, a Peregrine Falcon near Range Control, and a Fantailed Cuckoo calling plaintively at one of the sites.


Other points to mention include the (again) large number of Kangaroos, apparently with each mum followed by 2 offspring, all looking sleek as satin, fat as butter, and with very plump tails.  The country has benefited well from the rain, with lots of flowers and green shoot, not looking anything like as bare at the height of the macropod plague.  However, near the biggish dam at the northern end of the range the CSIRO has set up a “grass growing” test site which is fenced off from the surrounding country, and is I believe being photographed every couple of hours to see how fast the grass and herbs are growing.  What is relevant is that the herbage in the site, which has been going since Christmas (I believe) is between two and three times as long and lush as the kangaroo grazed area surrounding it.  The surrounding stuff looks much lusher than it has looked over the past three years or so, and it would seem kangaroo numbers will again be a subject for heated discussion.  They looked so cute, cuddly, and edible.






Paul Fennell

25 Pickles St

Scullin ACT 2614


026254 1804



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