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Crop-eating locusts swarm over Madagascar

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 August 2010

Madagascar is at risk of a significant plague of crop-eating locusts, FAO warned today.

An average swarm eats the same as about 2 500 people in one day

An unknown number of immature swarms of Malagasy Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria capito) have formed up and moved out of the country’s south-western corner, where they are usually contained, and have begun to spread east and north, as far as Maintirano.

The government estimates that 460 000 rural families are potentially at risk.

A major, months-long control campaign will be necessary starting in advance of Madagascar’s upcoming rainy season, which begins in mid-October, to stop locust numbers from growing and prevent them from reaching plague proportions.

Madagascar is currently in its dry and cool season, which is unsuitable for locust breeding. But the wet and hot weather of the rainy season – which lasts until spring — will favour rapid reproduction.

Given suitable conditions, locusts can produce a new generation roughly every two months and up to four during one year. Continue reading Crop-eating locusts swarm over Madagascar