Eyes in Sky Missing Some Fire Ant Nests

The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia), October 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

Eyes in Sky Missing Some Fire Ant Nests


Byline: Geoff Egan geoff.egan@qt.com.au

BIOSECURITY Queensland has defended its use of high-tech helicopters to find fire ant infestations in the Lockyer Valley despite most discoveries being made by landholders.

Recently discovered nests in Hatton Vale and Summerholm were brought to the attention of authorities by a local farmer, despite the area having been scanned by a Biosecurity helicopter.

Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre director Neil O'Brien said final results from the scan of the Lockyer Valley would be completed in the next month.

aNow that image capture has been completed the captured data is being analysed,a he said.

aPreliminary analysis shows that the infestations at Hatton Vale and Summerholm were identified, but full analysis of the entire area is pending.

aThe results of the full analysis for the Hatton Vale, Summerholm and the surrounding suburbs are expected within the next month. As potential target nests are identified, field staff will check to confirm whether or not the target is a fire ant nest.a

Mr O'Brien said the remote sensing surveillance had three components a image capture, analysis to identify potential fire ant nests and finally field surveillance.

aHatton Vale and Summerholm were in areas scheduled to be surveyed using remote sensing this year and image capture was completed over Hatton Vale after the public report and prior to the detection of the Summerholm infestation. …

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