The Distribution of the European fire ant in British Columbia

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The European fire ant is currently known from several municipalities in southern British Columbia. These include Burnaby, Chilliwack, Richmond, Vancouver, North Vancouver and Victoria. It is likely that most of not all of the surrounding municipalities are also hosting this ant. While its distribution is broad, it: a) is often constrained to a single city block or small area where it has established, and: b) is currently occupying a small fraction of its potential habitat.

In Canada and the northeastern US this ant is known to occur in areas when annual precipitation as rainfall normally exceeds 1000 mm per year. The one exception is the Toronto area where this ant is thriving in an area receiving approximately 680 mm rainfall per year. It is not known to what extent urban lawn watering might compensate for lower natural precipitation.  Further, mean annual temperature at all known locations exceeds 6 deg C.

If we take the annual 680 mm of preciptation with a mean annual temperature above 6 deg C., it suggests that the European fire ant could establish along the coast from Vancouver to Prince Rupert, through all of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii. In southern BC it could spread inland inland to Hope, and may find a small region in the Nelson area suitable. In the north, it could establish from Prince Rupert inland to Terrace.





















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