Kenya faces devastating Prosopis invasion: What can be done

Prosopis tree branches with yellow seed pods hanging from them.
By Purity Rima Mbaabu. Originally published on The Conversation. Woody plant species have been deliberately introduced into many arid and semi-arid regions across the world as they can help combat desertification and provide resources – like fuelwood – to the rural poor. But some of these alien trees and shrubs have become invasive, having devastating effects on other species as…
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Scientists recommend measures to contain rapid woody weed spread in Baringo County, Kenya

People in Kenya cycle and walk on a road completely surrounded by invasive prosopis bushes and trees
A team of international scientists, including CABI’s Dr Urs Schaffner, have recommended ways to manage the devastating spread of the woody weed Prosopis juliflora, where in Baringo County, Kenya, its coverage rapidly increased by 2,031 percent in just 28 years. PhD student Purity Rima Mbaabu, affiliated to the University of Nairobi and co-supervised by Simon…
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New study reveals the massive ecological and economic impacts of woody weed invasion in Ethiopia

Prosopis clearing along Awash river
CABI scientists have revealed the massive ecological and economic impacts that the invasive alien tree Prosopis juliflora has had across the Afar Region of north eastern Ethiopia. Dr Urs Schaffner, who is supervising lead author Mr Hailu Shiferaw for his PhD studies, contributed to the Science of The Total Environment published research which shows that the…
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CABI helps map ferocious speed and likely cause of woody weed spread across Ethiopia

CABI scientists have helped map the ferocious speed and probable cause of a devastating spread of the invasive alien tree Prosopis juliflora (Swartz DC) across an area equivalent to half of neighbouring Djibouti in the Afar Region of north eastern Ethiopia. Dr Urs Schaffner, who is supervising lead author Hailu Shiferaw for his PhD studies,…
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Tackle invasive species to restore degraded landscapes

By Gilbert Nakweya Reblogged from SciDev.Net Invasive alien species should not be used in restoring degraded landscapes as their costs outweigh their benefits, experts say. Invasive alien species, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity, are plants, animals and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and may adversely affect human health and the…
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Why Prosopis no longer ‘pays’ as a prospect for positive environmental and socio-economic productivity

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…
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Could invasive plant management prevent the spread of malaria?

CABI scientists have joined an international team of experts who suggest that the large-scale management of a range of some invasive plants could hold the key to reducing the spread of deadly malaria. Dr Arne Witt and Dr Sean Murphy worked with scientists from the University of Illinois, The Ohio State University and the Fundación…
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Removal of invasive shrub could be an easy way to help reduce malaria transmission

Removing the flowers of an invasive shrub from mosquito-prone areas might be a simple way to help reduce malaria transmission, according to a new study published in the open access Malaria Journal. Removing the flowers from villages in Mali decreased the local mosquito vector population by nearly 60%.
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Use them and lose

Is promoting the utilisation of invasive non-native species for commercial or other uses e.g. as a feed for livestock, use as a fuel or to produce biogas, a help or a hindrance to their control? A view from Arne Witt, CABI Regional Coordinator, Invasives (Africa & Asia): Promoting the utilization of any invasive non-native species…
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