Central American nations on lookout for locusts

Central America

A locust alert in Central America has raised concern that outbreaks of the insects could become more common in the era of climate change. (Photo courtesy of Concertación Regional para la Gestión de Riesgos)

With Covid-19 and weather extremes causing acute emergency concerns, Central American countries since July have also had to keep a wary eye on locusts and their potential to aggravate the already considerable food-security worries being posed by climate change. On July 2, the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (Oirsa), an intergovernmental Central American and Mexican body headquartered in El Salvador, issued a phytosanitary alert concerning a large Central American locust that belongs to the species Schistocerca piceifrons. The locust can swarm and do extensive crop damage even when it doesn’t fly great distances, experts say. The alert caused particular alarm in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which were already dealing with crop damage caused by back-to-back tropical depressions Amanda and Cristóbal in late May and early June. (See "Rains reveal emergency- and land-planning needs... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?