Ants perform many key ecological roles. As soil aerators, seed dispersers, predators and decomposers, these ubiquitous titans of environmental engineering maintain the health of most terrestrial ecosystems. Healthy native ant communities are critical for supporting the vast biodiversity reliant on the same habitats, as well as the human societies depending on the services that these ecosystems provide.
The unstoppable inertia of globalisation has taken a toll on many species. In spite of their seeming abundance, ants too are confronted with multi-pronged threats from invasive species, habitat loss, and climate change. Ant conservation could not be a more timely pursuit.
Accumulating primary information on the diversity, distribution and vulnerability of a group is imperative and represents a crucial first step in the direction of conservation. However, many of our planet’s ants remain undiscovered and understudied. Singapore is no exception. Here, native ants have received very little attention despite the likely occurrence of over 200 different species in our island’s last rainforests.
The goal is to discover and document the ants of Singapore. This mission will reconcile the fundamental components of conservation for Singapore’s native ant communities as well as our wider ecosystems.