Why Prosopis no longer ‘pays’ as a prospect for positive environmental and socio-economic productivity

pro2

In the late 1970s and early 1980s the group of closely-related woody plant species and hybrids known as Prosopis were seen as a ‘saviour’ for millions of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in East Africa whose very livelihoods were threatened by the degradation of dryland ecosystems spurred on by overgrazing, and by deforestation and a shortage of firewood.

Continue reading

Fall Armyworm Is Here to Stay. But We Can Manage.

By Roger Day. Reblogged from Fall Armyworm Tech Prize

CABI-blog-photo

In 1996 in response to the first international meeting on invasive alien species, the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) a collaboration between the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), the International Union for Conservation (IUCN), and the Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), was launched. In 2001, GISP published a Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species, shedding light on the magnitude of these invasive plant and animal species—which destroy agriculture and habitat—and outlined a global-scale response. In addition, the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity recognized the urgent need to address the impact of invasive species, and in 2002, COP6 included the adoption  of Guiding Principles for the Prevention, Introduction and Mitigation of Impacts of Alien Species that Threaten Ecosystems, Habitats or Species.

Continue reading

Southern armyworm identified from West and Central Africa

Edited by Washington Otieno, Roger Day and Matthew Cock.

Larva
Figure 1. Spodoptera eridania (southern armyworm); final instar larva. Laboratory specimen. Public Domain – Released by the USGS Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has confirmed that caterpillar and adult moth samples from West and Central Africa are southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania.

Continue reading

Twenty Innovators Selected to Tackle Fall Armyworm in Africa with Digital Solutions

By Lauren Bieniek. Reblogged from Agrilinks.

faw

It’s hard to believe that a small worm could destroy millions  millions of tons of crop yields, millions of dollars in farm income and millions of tons of food for families.

I’m talking about the Fall Armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest that has spread quickly across the African continent. Originally from the Americas, FAW was first reported in West Africa in early 2016 and now seriously threatens food supplies across the continent.

Continue reading

Protecting Carnaúba Palm Trees in Brazil from Devil’s Claw

Carnauba palms and Devils claw vine
Carnaúba palms covered by Devil’s claw vine

Called the “White Forest” by native populations, the Caatinga ecosystem covers an estimated 11% of Brazil and is spread across the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, northern Minas Gerais, Maranhão Paraíba, Piau, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe. This dry forest is home to the largest populations of Carnaúba palms in the world. It also has some of the world’s most diverse plant life and its biodiversity is critically important to maintaining the variety of animals native to the region, such as the emblematic three-banded armadillo.

Continue reading

Does travel stress strengthen invasiveness?

boats-cargo-cargo-container-753331

Research has already shown that invasive species tend to be more tolerant to environmental stress than related non-invasive species. However, a recent study published in Biological Invasions, set out to discover whether this stress tolerance was an inherent trait or whether it was something acquired en route from their natural habitat to the new one.

Continue reading