Around 1930, exotic fire ants arrived in Texas from South America.

Since then, the population has spread quickly and has been devastating to ground-nesting birds, such as Attwater’s prairie chickens.

Not only can their stings be extremely painful and cause the death of young birds, but they also consume insects which are an important food source especially for young birds.

The recovery of Attwater’s prairie chicken is a slow process with a population of 110 in the wild and 163 in captivity (as of 2011). At this critical stage, any threat can be deadly. Fire ants are definitely on the top list.