The desert locust (scientific name “Schistocerca gregaria”), the type of locust that is most destructive to human beings, has been spreading in Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned about a possible food crises in countries that they have invaded.
Two of China’s neighboring countries, Pakistan and India, are suffering from its attacks. Pakistan has entered a state of emergency; its government expressed that the country will end up with no harvest at all this year if it doesn’t get the pest under control. Some Indian scholars predicted the locust plague will cause a 30 to 50 percent reduction in India’s food growth this year.
Kang Le, an Ecologist and Entomologist, and an Academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Science News, during his interview with the newspaper, that the desert locusts will not impact China.
Kang said, “The current Locust plague is caused by the Schistocerca gregaria type. Its distribution region does not include China. Some scientists reported that the Schistocerca gregaria type was discovered in Yunnan Province in the early 1900’s but that claim was not confirmed. Therefore, Schistocerca gregaria will not create a severe threat to China.”
Kang also said that China has had a good experience in treating types of migratory locusts in China. However, that experience cannot easily be applied to the desert locust. “Since the desert locust has different characteristics and lives in a different environment from China’s types of locusts, it is not practical to apply China’s experience to the desert locust directly.”
On the other hand, Twitter has posted that the desert locusts have already arrived in Xinjiang.
1. 163.com, February 15, 2020
— 武汉普通人 (@Onebtcer) February 15, 2020