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Synergy between bird predation and locust control with Metarhizium

Synergy between bird predation and locust control with Metarhizium

Cheke, Robert A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7437-1934, Mullie, W.C. and Ibrahim, A.B. (2006) Synergy between bird predation and locust control with Metarhizium. In: ANCAP/SETAC International Conference on pesticide use in developing countries: environmental fate, effects and public health implications, 16-20 Oct 2006, Arusha, Tanzania. (Unpublished)

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Avian predation on a population of transient phase desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria was studied before and after aerial control with Metarhizium anisopliae var.
acridum (Green Muscle®) during a field trial at Agheliough, northern Niger, in late 2005. The study site was typical desert locust habitat: a flat, mostly sandy, area of 500
ha covered with Schouwia thebaica, of which about 80% was green at the outset. Most of the target populations were immature adult locusts and these were taken in
flight by lanner falcons Falco biarmicus at a rate of one every 2 minutes at the peak of their hunting activities. Indirect evidence of this predation and that by kestrels F.
tinnunculus was obtained by analyses of locust remains and kestrel pellets found beneath the falcons' "plucking posts". At the onset of the study approximately 0.05%
of the locust population was being harvested by the falcons per day, increasing later to
about 4%. Censuses of adult locusts and birds were conducted along two transects
(3.55 and 3.25 km long) every two days before and after the treatments. No
relationships between bird and locust numbers were discernible but there was
evidence that the numbers of some bird species increased after the treatments and that
there was predation of weakened locusts by passerine birds after the treatment. No
evidence for immigration by the locusts was found and no locusts were trapped at
light-traps surrounding the site after the trial. The locust population declined by
98.5% from 1500 per ha before the treatment to 22 per ha 23 days afterwards. During
this period we estimated that falcons took 14-26% of the locust population, thus
making a substantial contribution to locust control in synergy with the bio-pesticide,
which was shown to be effective against adult locusts in the field for the first time.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: bird predation, locust control, Metarhizium
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
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Last Modified: 29 Jan 2020 13:10

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