Vicious cycle of locust outbreaks

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Vicious cycle Therville et al. 2021, Lecoq 1991.

Locust outbreaks are extreme, occur sporadically, are difficult to predict and track, and extend across many ecological and cultural contexts. [1] During an outbreak, there is an outpouring of resources and motivation directed toward emergency campaigns to protect crops and grazing lands. The swift mobilization of management campaigns to protect agriculture during these times is often commendable. However, the infrastructure and progress achieved during major outbreaks are typically not sustained during extended periods of locust recessions. Over time, resources are redirected toward other issues, local expertise and knowledge erode, and organizational capacity breaks down. Once pest populations are reduced, the problem is quickly forgotten, marking the onset of the "oblivious phase". [2] [1] Eventually, environmental conditions that are favorable to locusts return and another outbreak occurs, often catching stakeholders by surprise who are once again left scrambling to mount an emergency management campaign. This is the vicious cycle of locust management. [2] [1] It has been repeated many times throughout history [3] [1] and is one of the core challenges for the global community to overcome.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Therville C, Anderies JM, Lecoq M, Cease A (2021) Locusts and People: Integrating the Social Sciences in Sustainable Locust Management. Agronomy 11: 951.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lecoq M (1991) Le Criquet pèlerin. Enseignements de la dernière invasion et perspectives offertes par la biomodélisation. In : Essaid A (Ed), La lutte anti-acridienne. AUPELF-UREF, John Libbey Eurotext, Paris. 71–98.
  3. Gay P, Lecoq M, Piou C (2019) The limitations of locust preventive management faced with spatial uncertainty: exploration with a multi-agent model. Pest Management Science 76: 1094–1002.