Friday, November 6, 2009

7ft ant nests get GPS addresses to stop them being destroyed

7ft Ant Nests get GPS Addresses to Stop Their Destruction

''We have pledged to restore all the ancient sites on our 80,000-hectare (200,000-acre) estate in the region and we're also offering generous grants to encourage other land managers to follow suit. Such woods are wonderful places for wildlife, including the remarkable hairy wood ant.''

This is great because it protects a real wonder of the natural world. Some of the species in the genus Formica are called Wood Ants. It's a common genus in all northern temperate zones, but the thatch mound building species are somewhat rare. These ants build mounds that act as natural compost piles and last for years. Gardeners in North America (when not mistaking them for fire ant mounds) always try and get rid of the unsightly mounds. But consider the benefits to having a true predatory force living in your yard. When gypsy moth damage is photographed there are often patches where the forest is unharmed. Guess what ants tend to be living in the unaffected area.