Article

The resurgence of the South American locust (Schistocerca cancellata)

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Volume 37 (3) / September 2017
The resurgence of the South American locust
(Schistocerca cancellata)
By HECTOR E. MEDINA
Dirección de Sanidad Vegetal - SENASA , ARGENTINA
hmedina@senasa.gob.ar, hmedina@agro.uba.ar
ARIANNE J. CEASE
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, USA
acease@asu.edu
EDUARDO V. TRUMPER
Instituto Nacinal de Tecnología Agropecuaria, ARGENTINA
trumper.eduardo@inta.gob.ar
he South American
locust (Schistocerca can-
cellata Serville, 1838)
was the most destruc-
tive agricultural pest
in late 1800’s to early
to mid 1900’s Argentina. However,
since the 1950s its numbers decreased
considerably until a notable upsurge
in Argentina in 2015. Here, we give
historical context for this species, dis-
cuss the current upsurge, and outline
ongoing and upcoming research and
management activities and collabora-
tions.
The South American locust: 1800 to
1960
The South American locust, S. can-
cellata, rst appeared as a destructive
agricultural pest in 1538, affecting
cassava crops in Buenos Aires (Gas-
tón, 1969). While S. cancellata has an
expanded range during plagues—from
southeast Bolivia, Paraguay, south
Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina
as far as the 42°S—the biggest impact
and economic losses have been in
Argentina (Kölher, 1962; Lieberman,
1972). Indeed, virtually no crop in
Argentina has escaped locust swarms
(de Wysiecki and Lange, 2005).
Similar to how the Rocky Mountain
locust (Melanoplus spretus Walsh,
1866) shaped pest management in the
U.S., the history of pest management
in Argentina began with S. cancellata.
Locust control campaigns in the early
19th century gave birth to the rst
governmental agency with the mis-
sion of controlling pests and regulat-
ing national plant health, a task that is
now integrated into the duties of the
National Plant and Animal Health and
Quality Service of Argentina (SE-
NASA). During plague years, locusts
would be distributed across half the
country (1.4 million km2) (Gastón,
1969). Stories were passed on at
family gatherings of clear skies sud-
denly darkened by swarms and crops
entirely lost to locusts. However, by
the 1960s after many years of control
campaigns heavily relying on DDT,
a preventive strategy was ofcially
established that succeeded in keep-
ing the locust population at bay. The
locusts were restricted to a relatively
small region in northwest Argentina
(Barrera and Turk, 1983; Waloff and
Pedgley, 1986; Hunter and Cosenzo,
1990). In Argentina, 1954 was the
last year a major plague period was
reported (De Wysiecki and Lange,
2005). Monitoring continued in Cata-
marca and La Rioja provinces where
locust populations remained, but was
minimal elsewhere because the locust
populations had diminished.
2015-2017 upsurge
After six decades of limited S.
cancellata activity (only three smaller
outbreaks in 1961, 1989 and 2010;
Barrientos Lozano, 2011), a sequence
T
T
Figure 1. S. cancellata swarms in Chaco province July 2017
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Volume 37 (3) / September 2017
of three ever-increasing upsurges
started in 2015. The rst was in Ar-
gentina. In July 2015, locust swarms
up to 25 km2 were identied in
Santiago del Estero province. A rapid
response of SENASA working with
provincial public institutions and pri-
vate stakeholders helped to keep the
upsurge under control. Damages were
reported mainly in dry woodlands
and natural pastures, with only minor
impact on crops.
The upsurge in Argentina was fol-
lowed by outbreaks of nymphal bands
and adult swarms in southeast Bolivia
that threatened 10,000+ ha of crops.
The rst swarms were detected in Jan-
uary 2016 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra,
Cabezas county. By February, swarms
were reported in several locations,
including as far south as Boyuibe, a
town near the border of Argentina.
Locusts damaged a number of crops
including soybeans, maize, sorghum,
peanut and citrus trees. President
Evo Morales declared a state of plant
health emergency in February. The
Bolivian government responded
rapidly by requesting visits by ex-
perts from Argentina and the FAO
UN, and, within three months of the
rst recorded swarm, had launched a
national locust program.
The Bolivian locust
program was based on
the SENASA National
Locust Program, which
was created in the early
1900s. This collaboration
was supported in part
by the Argentine Fund
for South-South and
Triangular Cooperation
(FOAR).
A few weeks after the
locust swarms were rst
reported in Bolivia, simi-
lar reports appeared in
Paraguay. This was likely
the rst outbreak in Para-
guay for more than half
a century, so there was
limited local knowledge
and no locust manage-
ment in place. The
swarms were concentrat-
ed in the Alto Paraguay
Region in the north and particularly
next to the Brazilian border in Toro
Pampa and Fuerte Olimpo. Nymphs
and adults were found on natural
pastures and shrublands. At the re-
quest of the Paraguayan government,
SENASA Argentina assisted with
eld evaluations and provided train-
ing and general recommendations. By
the end of February National Plant
and Seed Health and Quality Service
of Paraguay (SENAVE), announced
the implementation of control actions.
Locusts were detected as late as May
in Boquerón and Hayes, near the bor-
Figure 2. Geographic distribuon of S. cancellata.
Figure 3. A. S. cancellata nymphs eang Panicum maximum near Boyuibe, Bolivia; B. Diet study on marching nymphs in Catamarca, Argenna
METALEPTEA
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Volume 37 (3) / September 2017
der to Argentina.
After a period of relative calm
across early winter, on June 24, 2017
large swarms were reported moving
southward in the northeast Argentin-
ian province Formosa, likely enter-
ing from Paraguay. Several swarms
were observed travelling in the same
direction (south) through provinces to
the south and southwest of Formosa:
Chaco, Santiago del Estero, and north
Santa Fe provinces. To the east of this
region, locusts were reported mating
and laying eggs. During mid-August,
at least two swarms were reported in
Cordoba province dispersing south-
ward as fast as 150 km per day appar-
ently facilitated by high-speed north
winds. One of these swarms reached
the 32nd parallel south near Monte
Ralo in Cordoba Province, which is
to the east of the permanent breed-
ing region. SENASA is implement-
ing an intensive monitoring plan and
conducting chemical control through
aerial sprays when swarms settle in
areas not populated by people. As yet
in 2017, only minor damages have
been observed in scattered crops in
northern Argentina.
Why this large-scale upsurge after
decades of successful control?
The most plausible hypothesis
to explain the recent upsurge and
geographic expansion of S. cancellata
is that a combination of two major
factors converged in the permanent
breeding region simultaneously. First,
La Rioja, Catamarca, and Santiago
del Estero provinces had both a mild
winter and frequent rains of 25+ mm
from late winter to spring. In addition
to increasing locust growth rate, this
weather likely induced breaking of
the winter adult reproductive diapause
earlier than usual (Hunter & Cosenzo,
1990), which paved the way for a
third generation. S. cancellata typi-
cally has two generations per year;
three generations per year can lead to
exponential population growth. Sec-
ond, the climatic favorability allowed
for expansion of suitable breeding
and egg laying sites, making the area
too large to be covered by the avail-
able scouting personnel.
Once locusts passed
the density threshold to
become gregarious and
adults began to migrate,
monitoring became
increasingly difcult
because locusts ex-
panded to regions with
no trained personnel
available. As a result,
several swarms may
have migrated north-
ward unchecked. Future
studies are needed to
determine the migratory
pathways, but based
on preliminary data we
hypothesize a process
of geographic expan-
sion with at least one
reproduction period in
Bolivia and Paraguay.
This process plausibly
gave rise to the new
adult generation that
entered Argentina during July 2017.
Ongoing research and management
activities and future strategies
Locusts are a continental-level
challenge that requires coordinated
responses across boundaries by
individuals and governments. While
upsurges and plagues can have devas-
tating impacts on food security, such
large-scale events happen erratically.
This ‘moving target’ is one of the dif-
culties for sustainable locust man-
agement (Lockwood et al., 2001). In
the early stages of the current locust
upsurge, SENASA responded quickly
by intensifying monitoring and
control in Argentina. However, for de-
cades the preventative strategy—and
training—had been focused on target-
ing nymphal bands in Catamarca and
La Rioja. Quick treatment of nymphal
bands meant that adult swarms were
rare. Consequently, when the rst
swarm was found in July 2015,
Argentina relied on a handful of the
most experienced eld ofcers from
Catamarca and La Rioja provinces
Figure 4. A-B. Argenna May 2016: Representaves from SENASA, INTA, and ASU in Catamarca (A) and La Rioja (B)
provinces; C. Buenos Aires workshop; D. Arianne Cease (ASU), Eduardo Trumper (INTA), and Mónica Roca (SENASA)
collecng locusts
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Volume 37 (3) / September 2017
to train newer col-
leagues. As such, in
Argentina the re-
sponse was limited in
its efcacy because of
the time necessary to
train individuals and
the reactive nature of
the response.
A systems approach
may help address
this continental-level
challenge over the
long-term, reducing
the need for reaction-
ary responses. Locusts
are part of complex
coupled human and
natural systems, or
CHANS (Cease et
al., 2015). CHANS
are systems of feed-
back linking people
and ecosystems that
connect people across
time and space. For
example, land use
and/or locust manage-
ment practices in one
region can affect the
likelihood of another
region being the recip-
ient of locust swarms.
Policy and markets
also link outbreak
regions through space
and time and can af-
fect the probability
of swarms, as well
as how swarms and
locust control impact
people and the envi-
ronment. To develop
sustainable locust
management ap-
proaches that consider
multiple outcomes in
this complex CHANS
system, many disciplines and sec-
tors are needed. To that aim, in May
2016, SENASA, INTA (the National
Institute for Agricultural Technology),
and the National Ministry of AgroIn-
dustry organized the “Workshop on
bio-ecology, impact and management
of locusts and grasshoppers” (http://
www.senasa.gov.ar/senasa-comunica/
noticias/taller-sobre-bioecologia-
impacto-y-manejo-de-langostas-y-
tucuras). This workshop included
topics from acridid management,
forecasting, taxonomy, and ecophysi-
ology, to community well-being and
environmental safety. Representatives
from many organizations attended,
including the Center for Parasitologi-
Figure 5. A. Bolivia April 2017: Bolivia workshop; B. Hector Medina giving a seminar at the workshop; C. Hector Me-
dina providing advice to a group of farmers, SENASAG colleagues, private consultants and NAPO representaves; D.
The April 2017 eld team including representaves from SENASAG, INIAF, SENASA, INTA, CIAT, Instute of Agricul-
tural Research “El Vallecito”, and ASU; E-F. Field work near Boyuibe collecng samples of locusts and vegetaon: in
intact forest (E), and along the road (F).
METALEPTEA
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Volume 37 (3) / September 2017
cal and Vector Studies (CEPAVE),
the National University of La Plata
(UNLP), and Arizona State University
(ASU). CEPAVE, UNLP, and Texas A
& M University (TAMU) researchers
are currently collaborating to study
phase change in S. cancellata. This
study complements ongoing research
at TAMU comparing phase change
in Schistocerca species, as well as
ongoing research at CEPAVE and
UNLP studying the phylogeography
and ecophysiology of acridids more
broadly. Following the May 2016
workshop, Arizona State University
(ASU) researchers worked with INTA
and SENASA to collect data from
multiple populations to determine
their nutrient and host plant prefer-
ence. Such data will improve our
understanding of bottom-up control of
locust populations and what triggers
migration. These studies complement
ongoing CHANS research by ASU
and collaborators looking at the con-
nections among soil nitrogen, locust
outbreaks, livelihoods, and livestock
markets.
Following the appearance of
swarms in Bolivia, SENASAG hosted
three ofcial missions between Febru-
ary and April to integrate knowledge
and actions of the international com-
munity, particularly from Argentina.
The rst two missions focused on
how to achieve effective networking
between public and private sectors
to improve efciency for eld op-
erations. The goal of the third mis-
sion was to formalize institutional
cooperation among organizations in
Bolivia and Argentina and to promote
the development of a long-term and
integrated research and management
strategy. To achieve these goals, rep-
resentatives participated from INIAF
(Institute of National Agricultural
and Forestry Innovation), the Gabriel
René Moreno University, the Center
for Tropical Agriculture Research
(CIAT), the Institute of Agricultural
Research “El Vallecito”, Arizona State
University, SENASA, and INTA. The
Entomological Society of Bolivia
developed a report to assist with iden-
tifying S. cancellata and to advocate
for the use of pesticide alternatives
to avoid non-target effects on other
organisms such as bees (http://cebem.
org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/
SBE-14-de-febrero-general.pdf).
Following the workshop, ASU col-
laborated with SENASAG, INIAF,
SENASA, INTA, and CIAT to collect
nutritional data on outbreaks and
determine vegetation preferred and
avoided. Additionally, ASU collected
live S. cancellata to supplement es-
tablished lab colonies from Argentina
and to continue ecophysiological re-
search. ASU invites other institutions
to use these colonies for research if
interest exists.
Many stakeholders in agriculture
and the general public are deeply
concerned about the resurgence of
large swarms of S. cancellata (reach-
ing up to 25 km2 in size) across
Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The
governments of these three countries
share these concerns and have agreed
that integrated approaches and joint
actions to manage S. cancellata are
necessary. The rst steps have been
taken by the Argentine Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to develop a Re-
gional Program of Management of
the South American locust through
the Argentine Fund for South-South
and Triangular Cooperation (FOAR).
The convergence of institutions and
stakeholders has led to a focus beyond
tackling the immediate problem.
These cross-sectoral collaborations
are emphasizing longer time frames,
learning from mistakes, and gaining a
deeper knowledge of the mechanisms
driving locust population dynamics
and migration to support sustainable
locust management.
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... Similar to many other locust species [4], SAL demonstrates dramatic swings in both its abundance and its occupied geographic range [3]. The population dynamics of this species are characterized as having both recession and outbreak areas sensu Uvarov [35]. ...
... The population dynamics of this species are characterized as having both recession and outbreak areas sensu Uvarov [35]. In most years, there are low to moderate populations in a localized area in northwest Argentina ( Figure 2) and periodic treatment of the bands and swarms that appeared in this area [2,18] help to prevent plagues for more than 60 years [1][2][3]. However, SAL shows a pattern of population fluctuation that fits into Berryman's [36] sustained irruption type of population dynamics, where a period of unusually favorable conditions [36,37] can lead to rapid population increases. ...
... Once populations reach high densities, even less than ideal conditions are sufficient to maintain the population, resulting in a stable equilibrium at high densities that can result in plagues lasting many years. In the past, dense bands and swarms spread to cover more than 1.5 million km 2 in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay [1], and the current upsurge has expanded to cover a significant proportion of this maximum area [3,20] (Figure 2). The stable equilibrium at high densities has profound effects on locust management efforts: if locust populations reach high levels, even substantial control efforts are often unable to reduce a population and end a plague unless aided by unfavorable climatic conditions [38]. ...
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In the first half of the twentieth century, the South American Locust (SAL), Schistocerca cancellata (Serville, 1838), was a major pest of agriculture in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. From 1954–2014, a preventive management program appeared to limit SAL populations, with only small- to moderate-scale treatments required, limited to outbreak areas in northwest Argentina. However, the lack of major locust outbreaks led to a gradual reduction in resources, and in 2015, the sudden appearance of swarms marked the beginning of a substantial upsurge, with many swarms reported initially in Argentina in 2015, followed by expansion into neighboring countries over the next few years. The upsurge required a rapid allocation of resources for management of SAL and a detailed examination of the improvements needed for the successful management of this species. This paper provides a review of SAL biology, management history, and perspectives on navigating a plague period after a 60-year recession.
... Some countries that have not suffered from locust problems for a long time have gradually lost the ability to manage crises. This is what happened in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay with Schistocerca cancellata (Serville, 1838), the South American locust, which swarmed unexpectedly from 2015 after several quiet decades, 35 and with the desert locust in countries like Kenya that were unable to foresee and react to the 2020 plague. 36 We need to examine the archives and to be aware of the history of the plagues to relearn from the past. ...
... wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ps every year between Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. 35,75 Studies are currently underway to confirm/invalidate the monodistribution of its outbreak area, which could have been modified by climate change or by deforestation in these regions. For now, the results of our model allow us to advise the countries affected by Schistocerca gregaria and including initial outbreak areas to survey these areas twice as often as the rest of the recession area when there are no swarms. ...
... However, this did not prevent S. cancellata from unchecked upsurge and other factors need to be factored in to explain the expanding invasion, the significantly reduced number of the field officers being one of the most plausible explanations. 35 Such advice could also be given to other locust preventive management systems. In Madagascar, the migratory locust Locusta migratoria (a species widely distributed across the Old World) has a similar distribution 76-79 that should mobilise the prospectors. ...
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BACKGROUND Poorly organised risk management system may dysfunction when used. The consequences can be dramatic for those supposed to be protected. Since the 1960s, preventive control strategies, which field officers are the living memory, have been developed to monitor locusts. Preserving their experience of past plagues is consequently essential. Wrong use of their knowledge can disrupt the whole management chain. We explored these conditions using a multi-agent model representing a preventive system. We simulated how the field teams’ tendency to repeatedly visit past outbreak areas (hotspots) by allocating them an attraction weight, can help in preventing plagues. RESULTS When field teams’ attention remained constant over time, there was dramatic decrease in the number of plagues with increasing interest in hotspots, as long as interest was less than 2.5 times more than elsewhere. When the field teams were only attentive during recession times, plagues were better controlled using a low weight for hotspots. The spatial structure of hotspot distribution had an effect: the more frequent and the bigger the hotspots, the lower the optimal hotspot weighting needed to reduce plagues. CONCLUSION Orienting surveys towards hotspots particularly during recession times reduces plagues. The spatial structure of locust habitats may influence the way to manage them. Habitats located outside the multiple hotspots of species such as the desert locust should be visited more frequently than those with only one hotspot, such as the South American locust. The decline/loss of the field officers’ experience highlights the need to save, capitalize and disseminate this knowledge. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Heuschreckenschwärme zählen zu den ältesten Landwirtschaftsschädlingen der Menschheitsgeschichte und finden als von Gott gesandte Plagen Erwähnung in der Bibel, dem Koran und der Torah (Simpson & Sword, 2008). In der Geschichte haben unterschiedliche Heuschreckenarten auf verschiedenen Kontinenten immer wieder für verheerende landwirtschaftliche Schäden gesorgt (Simpson & Sword, 2008;Medina et al., 2017;Rai & Sharma, 2020). Von Bedeutung sind dabei im Wesentlichen etwa 10 -15 Arten aus der Familie der Feldheuschrecken (Orthopthera: Acrididae) (Solter et al., 2012). ...
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Climate change favors the establishment of new pests in Germany, which now find suitable habitats here due to the changed climate. Field locusts occur repeatedly as agricultural pests in southern European countries. Therefore, it is investigated whether the climate change-induced northward shift of warmer zones can create climatically suitable habitats for field locusts in Germany and whether agricultural areas can be affected by this. The CLIMEX software is used to model the possible distribution of the Italian locust (Calliptamus italicus (L., 1758)), the Moroccan locust (Dociostaurus maroccanus (Thunberg, 1815)) and the Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria (L., 1758)) for 20 locations in Germany in six scenarios. These result from the combination of the two observation periods 2021 – 2050 and 2071 – 2100 with the three climate projections RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Based on the study, C. italicus is expected to spread widely in Germany, whereas D. maroccanus and L. migratoria might form only small and local populations. Locust swarms can potentially threaten crop products on around 10 – 25% of the agricultural area in Germany at the sites considered, but are unlikely to occur, since the intensive use of grassland areas provides insufficient conditions for reproduction. The creation of lager fallow areas as part of environmental protection and climate adaptation measures could change this in the future. In addition, swarm formation in neighbouring countries and possible migration routes to Germany should be investigated. Furthermore, the development of concepts for prevention and intervention in the event of a locust invasion is recommended. Overall, however, a low risk potential of field locusts for German agriculture is currently assumed.
... If they do occur, they are now controlled quicker, although the damage caused can still jeopardize the food security of rural populations in many Global South countries [36]. Recent outbreaks of Desert Locust in Africa and Asia [43][44][45] and the South American Locust Schistocerca cancellata [46,47] are indeed reminders that the problem remains, albeit to a lesser extent than in the past. Each resurgence is a surprise to many-most often through unawareness-that this ancient and spectacular problem is still around. ...
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... This "vicious" cycle [60] thus refer to a situation in which one is locked in a complex chains of events that reinforce themselves through a feedback loop and that has detrimental results. It is typified by the desert locust but can also be observed in Madagascar for the migratory locust [14] and in the South American locust [89]. When looking back at the desert locust invasion of 1987-1989 [21], Roy notes that when the severity of the threat diminished, vigilance is decreased. ...
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Locust outbreaks have impacted agricultural societies for millennia, they persist today, and humans aim to manage them using preventative strategies. While locusts have been a focus for natural sciences for more than a century, social sciences remain largely underrepresented. Yet, organizational, economic, and cultural variables substantially impact these management strategies. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can better understand these issues. This paper examines the scope and purpose of different subfields of social science and explores how they can be applied to different issues faced by entomologists and practitioners to implement sustainable locust research and management. In particular, we discuss how environmental governance studies resonate with two major challenges faced by locust managers: implementing a preventative strategy over a large spatial scale and managing an intermittent outbreak dynamic characterized by periods of recession and absence of the threat. We contend that the social sciences can help facilitate locust management policies, actions and outcomes that are more legitimate, salient, robust, and effective.
... Schistocerca cancellata (Serville 1838) is a South American locust species which is usually limited to a narrow breeding zone in Argentina. However, during massive outbreaks, they can cover up to four-million square kilometers, including 6 countries (Medina et al., 2017). The last outbreak started at the beginning of 2015, and was still continuing during 2020. ...
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Locusts have been reported to elevate metabolic rate in response to high carbohydrate diets; this conclusion was based on metabolic rates calculated from CO 2 production, a common practice for insects. However, respiratory exchange ratios (RER, CO 2 production divided by O 2 consumption) can rise above 1 due to de novo lipid synthesis, providing an alternate possible explanation of the prior findings. We studied the relationship between macronutrient ingestion, RER, and lipid synthesis using South American locusts ( Schistocerca cancellata ) reared on artificial diets varying in protein:carbohydrate (p:c) ratio. RER increased and rose above 1 as dietary p:c decreased. Lipid accumulation rates were strongly positively correlated with dietary carbohydrate content and ingestion. RERs above 1 were only observed for animals without food in the respirometry chamber, suggesting that hormonal changes after a meal may drive lipid synthesis. S. cancellata does not elevate metabolic rate on low p:c diets; in fact, the opposite trend was observed.
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At high density, juvenile locusts create marching hopper bands. Understanding the roles of temperature and vegetation on the movement of these bands shall allow to better forecast and control them. Following a hopper band in North Argentina in November 2019, we explored the thermoregulation behaviours of the South American locust, Schistocerca cancellata. Gut-content samples informed about the feeding status at different time of the day. Hoppers’ body temperature was above cold air temperature in the mornings during basking and group-basking activities and before the onset of marching behaviour. Marching by walking or hopping was dominant at body temperatures close to 40°C. Jumping, stilting, shading and perching on plants were seen as thermoregulatory behaviours to avoid ground temperatures above 50°C. Feeding was observed throughout the day with continuous high gut contents despite an intermittent pattern of feeding-resting-marching. Speed and daily travelled distance of the front of the hopper band was depending on the type of encountered vegetation. Daily behavioural patterns, thermoregulatory behaviours, walking speed and daily travelled distances of S. cancellata were similar to the ones observed for the Desert locust, S. gregaria, in Africa. High air temperatures recorded during the observation times could explain the continuous feeding patterns. These species may have evolved behaviours of alternating consuming a bit and marching as a migration strategy to avoid staying where no food is available after the havoc left behind large hopper bands. Recommendations made for the control of Desert locust hopper bands can be extended to South American locust ones.
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In recent years, scientists and managers have advocated for the integration of the social sciences (particularly political science and economics) and the humanities (particularly moral philosophy) with the natural sciences (particularly entomology and ecology) in developing a full understanding of locust-management programs. In this paper, we pursue such a synthesis by using the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) as an exemplar case. After an overview of this insect’s biology, ecology, and management, we provide a brief summary of the standard, moral theories (utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics) and consider their shortcomings with regard to developing a framework for understanding the socioeconomic complexity of locust management. Next, we address some of the models of global justice and focus on two fundamental questions: Who is a moral agent with regard to desert locust management, and how should we justly distribute the responsibilities among agents during preventive and reactive modes? After identifying the agents, we use a fourfold set of principles to construct a framework for locust management consistent with global justice and apply this conceptual system to two hypothetical scenarios. We conclude with some observations from political philosophy that offer progress toward a comprehensive and applicable theory for locust management in the context of global justice.
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Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) are systems of feedback linking people and ecosystems. A feature of CHANS is that this ecological feedback connects people across time and space. Failing to account for these dynamic links results in intertemporal and spatial externalities, reaping benefits in the present but imposing costs on future and distant people, such as occurs with overgrazing. Recent findings about locust–nutrient dynamics create new opportunities to address spatiodynamic ecosystem externalities and develop new sustainable strategies to understand and manage locust outbreaks. These findings in northeast China demonstrate that excessive livestock grazing promotes locust outbreaks in an unexpected way: by lowering plant nitrogen content due to soil degradation. We use these human–locust–livestock–nutrient interactions in grasslands to illustrate CHANS concepts. Such empirical discoveries provide opportunities to address externalities such as locust outbreaks, but society's ability to act may be limited by preexisting institutional arrangements.
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Scale is the fundamental conceptual problem in assessing the sustainability or value of controlling grasshoppers or locusts. Using case studies from North America (United States: Wyoming), Africa (Eritrea), and Asia (Russia: Irkutsk), we analyzed the viability of control programs. There are at least four dimensions to acridid pest management. At the geopolitical scale, all three cases reveal that although the greatest cost/risk of acridid outbreaks accrues locally, distant governments play a primary role despite recent, undirected trends toward decentralization. Examination of the social scale reveals that in all three cases, the individual farm/ranch is the fundamental unit of concern, but these units place high value on preventing acridid infestations from spreading to neighboring lands. None of the systems appear to be driven by the agrochemical industry; rather, the motive force is food security (Eritrea), food quality (Wyoming), or both (Irkutsk). With respect to the interest scale, in all three systems agriculturalists have nothing to gain and much to lose from acridid outbreaks, as compared to the general public (no gains, modest losses), agrochemical industries (low gains, no losses), and governments (low gains, modest losses). In terms of the temporal scale, extremely rapid (and localized) losses and short-term (annual) productivity define the situation for farmers/ranchers, while governments exhibit far slower and longer-term responses and perspectives. From these findings, the keys and obstacles to sustainable acridid pest management are discussed.
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Factors involved in the origin of plagues of Schistocerca cancellata (Serville) in Argentina were examined using a simple model for locust development. Plagues were present in 48 of the 58 years between 1897–1954 with plague sequences occurring before 1900, 1903–11, 1913–28, 1931–38 and 1944–54. Plagues originated when winter rain fell in the outbreak areas in La Rioja and Catamarca resulting in three generations in a season. Plagues continued for 8–15 years. Their decline was usually gradual resulting from a combination of several seasons when it was dry in the outbreak areas, and only one generation per year was possible. Before 1954, locust swarms were common in 15 of Argentina's 22 provinces but it was not obvious where the plagues originated. Since then most swarms have been reported from two provinces in the northwest: La Rioja and Catamarca. Within these provinces, bands and swarms have been most common in the semi-arid outbreak area. Populations have been highest when the outbreak area received winter/spring/summer rain which allowed three generations in a season. However, infestations have never approached plague proportions in recent years because regular control of bands and swarms in the outbreak area has kept populations in check.
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For the past 10-15 years Brazil has undergone wide-ranging outbreaks of locusts and grasshoppers. Rhammatocerus schistocercoides (in the State of Mato Grosso/western central region, 1984-88/1991-92), Schistocerca pallens and Stiphra robusta (in Pernambuco, Paraíba, Piauí, and Rio Grande do Norte/northeastern region, 1984-86/1991-92); Rhammatocerus conspersus, R. pictus, and Staurorhectus longicornis (in Rio Grande do Sul/southern region, 1989-1992) are some of the species that have become major pests. At present there are locust/grasshopper outbreaks in at least five Brazilian States, including Mato Grosso, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, and Pernambuco. Although climatic conditions play an important role in locust outbreaks, the major factors that have originated this problem in Brazil are related to changes in land management, deforestation, introduction of new crops, and to some extent the lack of monitoring and vigilance once the outbreaks are suppressed. As a result of the implementation of locust/grasshopper control campaigns in Mato Grosso (1984-1988) and Rio Grande do Sul (1991-92), it has become evident that the locust/grasshopper problem in Brazil needs a different approach. To deal properly with the situation the Government needs to establish an integrated locust/grasshopper control program, but little is known about alternative control methods, and in some cases even the ecology of the species is poorly understood. Preliminary studies on biological control and ecology of several species involved are being carried out at present in Brazil in order to undertake a long term project to establish an integrated locust/grasshopper control program. This paper outlines the present situation of the locust and grasshopper problem in Brazil. It provides up-to-date information on the most recent outbreaks and analyses those factors that may have caused an increase in locust/grasshopper populations in several states. The limitations and implications of current control campaigns are discussed, and the need to establish an integrated control program is stressed
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A comparison is made of the distribution, breeding, migration and population dynamics of Schistocerca cancellata (Serville) in South America and S. gregaria flaviventris (Burmeister) in southern Africa. The annual patterns of breeding and migration are strongly influenced by the weather and its seasonal variations. Breeding is confined to the summer rains, and outbreak regions lie in the driest parts of the distribution areas, where habitats are unstable but where high reproductive capacity allows the occasionally abundant rains to lead to plagues. The long dry season is passed in the mobile, downwind-displacing adult stage, survival being assisted by flexibility of rates of sexual maturation and of egg development. Some comparisons are made with S. gregaria gregaria (Forskål).
Estado actual de la langosta Schistocera cancellata paranensis (Burm.) en la Republica Argentina: neuvos aportes a su bioecologia
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Barrera, M. and Turk, S., 1983. Estado actual de la langosta Schistocera cancellata paranensis (Burm.) en la Republica Argentina: neuvos aportes a su bioecologia. Acta Zoologica Lilloana, 27, pp.15-29.
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Ecologia de la zona central y de gregarización de la langosta en la Republica Argentina
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