Invasive species: The Fall Army Worm in Africa is a serious threat to maize production

Option C: Conservation and ecology

C3: Impact of humans on ecosystem function


The Fall Army Worm – a caterpillar – is a native of Central and South America but was introduced into Africa, probably as recently as 2016. It is now spreading rapidly across the whole continent and is already seriously threatening maize production in West, East and Southern Africa. The adult insect is a moth which is a strong flier and quickly covers great distances, facilitating such rapid spread. As recently as early February 2017, the FAW has been confirmed for the first time in South Africa, in two sites. The FAO is coordinating urgent action.

_93946311_armyworm1 (BBC Science 6th Feb 2017)) (DAFF Department of Agricultrue, Forestry and Fisheries, the Government of South Africa 6th Feb 2017)