In Southern California, native ant species face competition from invasive species like Argentine ants, which have established widespread presence in Mediterranean climate zones. Argentine ants are one of the most widespread invasive species in the world, frequently pushing out native ant species and endangering other species in the area that depend on ants for their own survival. In contrast with other ants, Argentine ants rarely attack other colonies of the same species. This live-and-let-live approach leads to Argentine ant “supercolonies” that can thrive in non-native lands, without the complication of turf wars that other ant species frequently engage in.
The survival of native ants is important to the health of other animal and plant species on the Landmarks. Irvine Ranch Conservancy scientists monitor native to non-native ant ratios to keep track of the balance. Through monitoring and invasive species control, IRC hopes native ants will thrive in harmony with the rest of their natural environment.