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Locust swarms in kenya

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Offline Clive

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« on: December 07, 2007, 17:34 PM »
Hi all

Locust swarms in Kenya now... Last year and the years before the worst swarms were in sub Saharan areas where all the migrants go to winter from our part of Europe... lesser kestrels decimated and birds such as bee eaters and anything else you can think of that is a migrant bird that eats insects and winters in North Africa... They don't go to Africa for winter just because it is sunny and warmer.... There is food there... Kill off the eaters of insects and you get too many insects..... It's a chemical disaster.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7132629.stm

Quote
The Ministry of Agriculture says it is spraying affected areas from the ground and from aircraft.

When will people learn that they are killing the very eco system that protects them...

Clive
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Offline Jill

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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 19:37 PM »
"As the solitary locusts interact with others they turn yellow and black." This is the BBC's explanation of the life-cycle of the locust (on the link provided by Clive). It doesn't say much for the accuracy of their other wildlife info!

Are these locusts really the ones which, not so very long ago, were wandering around in Iberia? Is that true? It's amazing to think of them flying all that long way!

I would be interested in knowing more about their life cycle.
Surely, the green nymphs ("solitary locusts" on the BBC page) are born here, in Europe...? I had assumed that they hatched from eggs which were laid in the late summer, before the locusts all disappeared. I had imagined that the eggs remained dormant in the soil all winter. I've read, somewhere, that a really heavy frost will kill them. But we don't get heavy frosts nowadays.

Do the locusts breed for a second time when they arrive in Africa? And, if so, will the new generation of locusts live and die in Africa, or will they migrate north to Europe?

Why are there fewer kestrels and bee-eaters than are needed? Nature is in a perpetual state of imbalance - one population overgrows; another increases to take advantage; the first is decimated by the second; the second withers away. A simplistic picture, of course... and Man regularly intrudes to mess things up. But what has he done this time? Where have all the locust-eaters gone?

Jill

Offline Clive

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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 20:19 PM »
Jill, and all

The chemicals that are used to kill the locusts also poison the birds and other animals that feed on the locusts... Is it just luck that the migrating birds from the north arrive in the south at the same time the locusts swarm?

No, it is part of a natural cycle that has been disturbed...

In the last few years I have noticed a huge decrease in lesser kestrel numbers in our part of Iberia and i blame this on deaths caused by the use of chemicals to control locusts in sub sahara...

Man poisons locusts...birds eat locusts...birds die...locusts have no predators...locusts increase in population due to lack of predators....man poisons locusts...

:(
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