Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, April 29, 1999 Published at 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

Locusts plague Turkmenistan

The locusts will hatch in 40 days

Colonies of baby locusts, discovered hatching in southern, Turkmenistan could devastate agriculture there if they mature, according to the country's authorities.

Measures already taken to eradicate the growing swarms include ploughing nearby land and spraying pesticides. A special team from the capital, Ashkhabad, has been brought in to investigate.


[ image: 2,500 have been counted so far]
2,500 have been counted so far
So far, experts estimate there may be as many as 2,500 locust eggs per square metre in the area surveyed.

If preventative measures are not taken, the insects will hatch within 40 days.

Experts say mature locusts can fly to a height of 200 metres and cover large distances in their search for food.

According to the BBC's Central Asia Correspondent, Louise Hidalgo, Turkmenistan is a desperately poor country where agriculture is an increasingly vital part of the economy.

The country's last big locust plague was more than 10 years ago.

Migration from Iran

The colonies have been identified as Moroccan Locusts - a particularly destructive type - probably established by migrating insects from neightbouring Iran.

Specialists at Turkmenistan's desert institute say this is the first time the Moroccan Locust has appeared in the area.

They have infested Bagir, a fertile region just south of the capital.

Bagir's rich agricultural land, in the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains separating Turkmenistan from Iran, is one of the main fruit growing areas in a country that is mostly desert, and provides much of the food for the country's livestock.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

06 Nov 98 | Sci/Tech
'Warmer world threatens health'

25 Aug 98 | Asia-Pacific
Fowl plot to hunt Chinese locusts

23 Aug 98 | Asia-Pacific
Stones from the skies

29 Apr 99 | Asia-Pacific
China's army of wasps

03 Mar 98 | Sci/Tech
Cyberbugs are go





Internet Links


Turkmenistan Information Centre

Turkmenistan Internet Camel Stop

Soros Information - Turkmenistan

Insects Resources


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques