Recently, experts have cautioned that the Kenyan government’s effort to exterminate the red-billed quelea birds that have infested farms will have unintended negative consequences for other raptors and wild species.

 

Details

  • Kenya’s government began to kill up to 6 million red-billed quelea birds, the world’s most populous bird species which are also known as ‘feathered locusts‘.
  • The preferred method for eradicating pests in Africa has been to spray fenthion, which is an organophosphate pesticide, but scientists have noted that the substance is toxic to people and other non-target organisms.
  • Fenthion has been listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam convention which aims to reduce risks from hazardous chemicals in agriculture.

 

About the Red-Billed Quelea

  • It is a small, short-tailed weaver with a mottled back and a yellow or reddish bill.
  • Large flocks are resident and nomadic in arid savanna, grassland, and cultivated areas.
  • Conservation status — IUCN: Least Concerned