Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

DESERT LOCUST PLAGUES: Controlling the Ancient Scourge

  • Written by  Jon Wright
  • Published in Books
DESERT LOCUST PLAGUES: Controlling the Ancient Scourge
16 Apr
2019
by Colin Everard • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

I can’t imagine that anyone has ever welcomed the arrival of locust swarms but, goodness, they are certainly interesting. In this lovely little book – part science, part autobiography – Colin Everard tells tales of his time in the Horn of Africa 60 or so years ago.

He started out inspecting camel watering holes and moved on to the wonderful title of Locust Field Officer. The devastation caused by these pesky creatures is well-known, and has been irritating humanity across Africa, Asia and the Mid-East since antiquity, but how do you limit the damage? Everard offers a keen analysis of the scientific developments that have helped the cause – from pesticides that don’t do too much environmental harm, to satellite observation. You will also learn all you’ll ever need to know about locust breeding habits.

But this all pales in comparison with Everard’s compelling anecdotes that expose a true love of the region and its peoples. Sure, it was sometimes a dangerous posting with plenty of, as he puts it, ‘thumping heart’ moments but there were also the times when he supped sugary-tea under acacia trees, made friends with ferocious-looking bushmen and, elsewhere on his travels, was offered a 12-egg omelette. Into the bargain, Everard’s appreciation of the region’s natural beauty is infectious.

I have always had some respect for locusts: they are so terribly efficient. But something had to be done and Everard and his colleagues were on the right side of the ethical equation. He humbly states in his introduction that ‘I felt that some true accounts of situations in which I found myself might be interesting, sometimes perhaps even entertaining.’ You bet they are!

Click here to purchase Desert Locust Plagues by Colin Everard from Amazon

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Exhibitions

From 12 July through to 10 November, the Fondation Cartier…

Reviews

A relaxed podcast, in which actor David Oakes interviews professionals…

Exhibitions

Exploring ideas of identity, heritage and life after trauma, Bahith…

Books

by Alex Rogers • Wildfire • £20 (hardback)

Films

An ‘environmental thriller’ focusing on the lives of campaigners working…

Exhibitions

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is open to visitors…

Films

In this moving, sometimes harrowing film from director Anthony Woodley,…

Films

A brutal, hard-hitting coming-of-age tale that doesn’t hold its punches

Books

by Peter Martell • Hurst • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Dan Richards • Canongate • £19.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jeremy Purseglove • Profile Books • £14.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Peter Hessler • Profile Books • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard • Little, Brown • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Robert Macfarlane • Hamish Hamilton • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Exhibitions

An exhibition at the V&A brings together innovations from across…

Books

Dead in the Water edited by Bruce Shoemakers and William…

Films

A brutally realistic film about a cruel and pointless confrontation

Books

by Mike Berners-Lee • Cambridge University Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

In our attempt to control the natural world, humans have…

Books

by Sudipta Sen • Yale University Press • £20 (hardback)