Spiny Cactus in Africa


Cactus are just like any other exotic plant – they can become invasive and a pest. In Africa there were Opuntias that were planted for the fruit and the flowers and now they are killing the local livestock.

The National Environment Management Authority has said it will issue a licence for the release of an insect that will feed on a cactus that kills their livestock in Laikipia county….

Wahungu said there are set procedures to be followed to release the insects as they have never been used in Kenya. He cautioned that this will be an experiment and any biological release can bring unexpected repercussions. Wahungu said they will not leave anything to chance.

The residents led by Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel said they have lost thousands of livestock after they feed on the fruits of the opuntia type of cactus, which have sharp tiny thorns that damage the intestines of the animals leading to death.

Unfortunately I am skeptical of this type of pest eradication effort. I don’t think it will end well.


    
    
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