Tanzania has culled millions of quelea birds to prevent them from destroying rice fields, using drones and planes to monitor commercial farms.
The Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticides Authority (TPHPA) which is also responsible for controlling desert locusts, killed five million quelea birds in the northern region of Manyara where about 1,000 acres of commercial crops were under threat.
“We killed swarms of five million destructive birds and now we are monitoring other zones,” Joseph Ndunguru, acting director general of TPHPA said.
The tiny red-beaked birds, which move in large flocks, are notorious for ravaging crops, with invasions generally occurring during the onset of the dry season in September and October.
According to TPHPA, “the birds are capable of destroying more than 50 tonnes of food crops in a single day.”