Cross post from Mountain Forum
>Reply-To: Giri Raj Kattel <email@example.com>
>Dear Mountain Forum Members,
>Recently, I visited my village in Western Nepal,
>Gorkha. I was shocked by news of devastated
>ecosystems at the region. About three years back, a
>species of ant (scientific name yet to know) was
>introduced accidentally in the village. Possibly it
>came with plants brought for plantations at Daraundi
>Watershed Project Area, Gorkha. The size of the ant
>is about 3-5mm long. It has two moderately long
>antennae and dark red colored abdomen.
>Since its introduction it has expanded dramatically at
>the region and now anyone can see the animal at every
>part of the soil. This tiny creature does not bite
>animals or human beings, but surprisingly, from this
>year, it has lead to significant impacts on the
>ecosystems, agriculture and health at the region. It
>is believed that the release (excreta) from its
>abdomen is the worst product.
>Ecosystem at the region is devastated. Since the
>population of this introduced ants lives at the holes
>of soil, wood and rocks, snakes, lizards, insects and
>any other creature live in the holes have lost their
>habitat. The nests of the native ants are also
>destroyed. This year, villagers have not seen snakes
>in the territories. Similarly, the ant attacks on
>wasp, bees and baby birds showing that birds, wasp and
>bees are not getting proper place to put their nests
>at the jungle.
>Agriculture at the region is destroyed. This ant has
>a strong negative impact on the best fodder trees
>(e.g. Bahunia sp.) for milk production. A large group
>of ant moves up to the young shoot of the fodder and
>stay for a night. The other day, the growth of the
>young shoot will get ceased and gradually the whole
>tree starts dying. I saw a number of fodder trees
>dead at the region. Ants go to the eyes of baby
>animals (e.g. lamb) and make troubles as well.
>Soil degradation is dramatically increased. Because
>of enormous numbers of holes made by ants in the soil,
>the edge of the mountain terraces slides very easily
>during monsoon. Loss of fodder trees and grasses due
>to ants has resulted in increased erosion and
>Health hazards and economic problems on human beings
>have been observed. Farmers say that the release of
>the ant is poisonous. If a farmer gets a cut and if
>incase the wound is touched by the ant, it is very
>less likely to get healed the cut. It takes several
>days for the treatment and should spend a huge amount
>of money for the doctor.
>Villagers did considerable efforts from local level to
>find out the solution. However, nothing has been
>achieved fruitful yet. First time I am putting this
>message internationally. I would be grateful if you
>provide me relevant information to solve the problem
>as soon as possible. I would be pleased to convey
>your advice to the villagers soon after I get the
>message. This could also be a great opportunity to
>those who are interested in ant ecology for PhD and
>Postdoc. Research, let me know.
>Looking forward to hearing your response shortly.
>Giri Raj Kattel
>P. O. Box 1730
>Fax: 00 977 1 266215
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Yahoo! Photos -- now, 100 FREE prints!
Mexico, D.F. & San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
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