Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Locust and grasshopper outbreaks in the Near East: review under global warming context.

Abstract

Plagues of locust possibly date back to before humanity, as they evolved before humans. Following the Neolithic revolution and the permanent settlement of humans in Mesopotamia, locusts and grasshoppers have become a serious problem for people, as imprinted on archaeological remains. In the Near East, desert locust may be an important problem during invasion periods, in addition to various local species of locusts and grasshoppers. Past plagues caused serious disasters in the region, but there has been a pause since the 1960s, thanks to more effective monitoring and control. However, global warming and other anthropogenic activities change ecosystems, and these increase the potential for locust outbreaks, upsurges and plagues for the region. Outbreaks of some local species could also be a serious problem. Pest species of the locust and grasshopper of the Near East mainly belong to Caelifera and some to Ensifera. Global warming and extended agricultural activities can increase the potential for outbreaks of local species and create suitable conditions for desert locust invasions. This review is an attempt to (i) provide a historical background for locust invasions/outbreaks in the Near East, (ii) assess the potential for outbreaking of local species and (iii) define a perspective for future actions regarding global changes.