The Australian Plague Locust: Risk and Response

Chris Adriaansen, James Woodman, Edward Deveson, V. Drake

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Locust plagues are natural hazards that have been historically regarded as disasters because of their impact on agricultural production. In Australia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the impacts of locusts led to significant hardships among farmers struggling to establish viable individual livelihoods. The use of pesticides for locust control and the establishment during the 1970s of coordinated response arrangements has significantly mitigated the economic and social impact of plagues. The main risk now is of control failure, which could lead to major economic losses, but significant concern also exists about unnecessary interventions; contamination of non-target crops, pastures, and livestock; effects on natural ecosystems; and injuries and health hazards for control staff and the general public. Establishment of a national specific-purpose locust control organization with expert staff and formal links to regional stakeholders has allowed development of appropriate and effective responses to these risks. These responses have now been formalized as defined operating procedures. Mitigating the risks of locust control is ultimately as important as mitigating the impact of the locust plagues themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiological and Environmental Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
EditorsJ F Shroder, R Sivanpillai
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780123964717
ISBN (Print)9780123948472
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameBiological and Environmental Hazards, Risks, and Disasters


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