Three weeks ago, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations revealed that the growing locust plagues in Kenya have become unstoppable. The reason why these biblical locusts seem so dangerous is that they’ve fully developed and grown wings. In addition to this, they have already swarm hundreds of square miles of land. Actually, the truth is that locusts can be extremely cannibalistic when the resources are limited, and their swarming highlights the adverse condition.
Flash forward, David Hughes, a professor of biology and entomology at Penn State University, has posted two brief clips of these locust swarming in Kenya. In the first footage, a member of the locust survey is seen running through the yellow swarm to elaborate the increasing number of the insect. The place is known as Lake Turkana, which is situated in the Northern region of Kenya.
Source: Al Jazeera
Locust, like grasshoppers, is an unusual species. They go through fascinating transformation if provided the right environment. They change their color, develop wings, grow muscles, and become more social. Mating is one of the key reasons why these seemingly solitary creatures become dramatically social species.
As mentioned above, in a supportive environment, these insects experience dramatic transformations. One of these environments is the rainy seasons. During rainy seasons, locusts launch into the breeding mode and as a consequence of climate change, East Africa has been witnessing unusually heavy rains since 2019.
So, if you were under the assumption that the current locust swarms would slow down anytime soon, you are wrong. In fact, the eggs laid by the current locusts will hatch in March and April that will continue their invasion.
An African intergovernmental organization known as the Climate Prediction and Application Center has sent out a warning. It says, “Under a worst-case scenario, the desert locusts will invade key production areas/bread-baskets of the region and cause significant crop losses during the March to May cropping season, and could potentially worsen the food security situation.”
This means that now it is the responsibility of the United Nations and the locust researchers to improve their predictions and inform the nearby countries if it’s time to be vigilant about the swarming.