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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Environment During three-week push, 5,785 caterpillar nests removed

During three-week push, 5,785 caterpillar nests removed

Processionaria redux1The environment office of the Formentera Council reports that 5,785 nests of the pine processionary caterpillar have been collected and destroyed in the three weeks since a correlated campaign was launched. This most recent push began January 8 and has seen the administration partner with Ibanat and state environmental agents.

Environment secretary Daisee Aguilera called the figures “a reduction compared to 2015 and 2016, when crews found 12,000 and 6,627 nests, respectively”.

Ibanat agents have already removed an additional 791 nests. Both land- and air-based strategies, which involve dusting some 1,500 hectares in es Cap de Barbaria with Bacillus thuringiensis, have had positive results.

Visual inspections
As in the two previous campaigns, officials have once again teamed up with the healthy forests division of the Balearic Islands' ministry of environment. That department, using a strategy known as “visual identification”, locates nests in affected pine trees and communicates the findings to the Council and Ibanat, who in turn oversee the nests' destruction.

Detection and elimination form the basis of the regional environment ministry's yearly plan for comprehensive control of the pine processionary caterpillar on Formentera. Other features of the plan include traps to monitor and capture pine processionary butterflies; a four-year dusting strategy (2017-2020); installation and maintenance of structures to house bats, predators of the pine processionary butterflies; and a study of the pest's associated parasites.


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