Locust invasion

Locust invasion at Bezà

Locust invasions are a recurring fact in Madagascar, but since March 2013, it has reached an alarming level. Grasshoppers have invaded not only the South and Southwest of Madagascar (including Bezà Mahafaly) but also the Central Highlands. Despite intervention by the national program for locust control, the grasshoppers have matured to adult stage and become impossible to control. Locusts did not directly impact Bezà Mahafaly’s forests, but they may endanger this year’s crops and livestock in the surrounding areas. Already, damage on agriculture and livestock, the main sources of income for local communities, is alarming. There is a real fear that due to lower crop production, some local villagers may collect forest products for resale, or may cut branches and trees in the Bezà forests for fodder. Indeed, this has often been observed during past critical years.