The first known little fire ants in Hawaii Volcano National Park have been found. (Pixabay)

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

West Hawaii Today

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has seen more than swarms of tourists, as officials discovered little fire ants in the popular destination.

The little fire ants found in the Steam Vents area and Mauna Ulu parking lot are the first known spotting in the national park.

“We are concerned for the health and safety of our staff and visitors, and the fragile Hawaiian ecosystems of the park,” said David Benitez, park ecologist. “LFA really depend on humans to move them around. We need everyone to ensure their vehicles and gear are free of ants before coming into the park.”

A press release from the national park service says they are sampling to see how widespread the ants are, in an effort to protect the ecosystem and visitors alike from the invasive species. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been actively monitoring any equipment, material and vehicles brought into the park for little fire ants since 2014. In 2018, they found the invaders on such equipment a dozen times.

The area is still open to visitors and no bites have been reported.

READ MORE: Lava bomb through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Join Kootenay family in virtual walk for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert,” Brigitte Ady shares.

Most Read