Re: Locust swarms

Subject: Re: Locust swarms
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 10:14:32 +1100

The locust swarms, at this stage, are nowhere near as bad as they were last autumn (around Dubbo at least - and Dubbo is constantly mentioned as being one of the worst affected areas).  

There have been an incredible number of hatchings reported (something like 12000) in the area.  I travel fairly extensively and in some areas bands of nymphs have been very extensive and it is not uncommon to see masses of non-flying nymphs crossing roads.  This has been particularly so in the Gilgandra - Coonanabrabran, Mudgee - Goolma and, most recently, the Molong areas.  These, however, appear to have been relatively effectively controlled by spraying so the number of flying locusts is not what I imagined it could have been.

The impact on birds is minimal.  Straw-necked Ibis numbers have increased due to the availability of food.  On the negative side the number of roadkills has gone up as many birds are attracted to the dead locusts on highways.  In town, birds have quickly learned to take advantage of BBQ locusts taking them directly from the front of cars or feeding on those that fall off.

A few weeks ago Dubbo had that very distinctive smell of roast locust (a smell that permeated the town for several months last autumn.  Right now there is no such smell indicating that locust numbers are down.

Mind you, there is a long way to go.  We may well get a second generation!


David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
Department of Environment & Conservation
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo  NSW  2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382

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