A new concern: locusts

2 min read

News:Scientists at the Locust Warning Organisation(LWO) have observed groups of Desert Locusts in districts of Rajasthan. 

Facts:

  • Locusts:They are a group of short-horned grasshoppers that multiply in numbers as they migrate long distances in destructive swarms.
  • Types: Four species of locusts are found in India: Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), Bombay Locust (Nomadacris succincta) and Tree locust (Anacridium sp.).Desert locust is regarded as the most destructive pest in India.
  • Hotspots:The Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) has identified three hotspots of threatening locust activity: Horn of Africa, the Red Sea area and southwest Asia.
  • Threat: Locusts are polyphagous, i.e. they can feed on a wide variety of crops. Secondly, they have an ability to multiply rapidly as a single female desert locust lays 60-80 eggs thrice during its roughly 90-day life cycle.
  • Regulation: Locust Warning Organisation(LWO), Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is responsible for monitoring, survey and control of Desert Locust mainly in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Locust Control and Research scheme: It is implemented by Locust Warning Organisation(LWO) with the aim of protection of standing crops and other green vegetation from Desert locust.