Re: locust swarms

Subject: Re: locust swarms
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 22:35:32 +1100
Re: negative impacts, if the spray kills the locusts, it also kills other insects, and so insect eating birds would be particularly badly affected. I believe there have been some negative effects (but sorry can't remember the details) which is why there is interest in perfecting a fungal based spray.

m("","David.Geering");"> wrote:

what about the negative effect of bird kill from spraying?  We had locust plague here approximately three years ago(here being Wilmington Flinders rAnges) and many bird species have not recovered.  Examples are red capped robin, southern whiteface and brown treecreeper.  These birds used to be common here-now not so

I was wondering if someone would bring this up.  To be perfectly honest this is not an area that I'm up to speed on.  My understanding is that the pesticides used are not detrimental to birds although I'm not sure if the precise impact has been studied.  There was some concern about the impact of spraying on birds such as Plains Wanderer and the alternative (a fungal-based spray) was to be used in sensitive areas.  This concern was more a case of not being absolutely sure that there was going to be no impact on this species rather than the fact that spraying would have an impact.

I'm not sure how you separate the impact of a locust plague three years ago from the impact of drought which has been occurring over the same time period.  My guess would be that the drought has been the major cause in declines in the birds mentioned above.

Anyway, as I say, the impact of these sprays is not something that I'm fully across.  I'd suggest that if there were serious problems then the state conservation agencies would have been more active in determining where spraying could occur.  They have certainly been involved in the process.


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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