February 27, 2020

"China could deploy 100,000 ducks to neighbouring Pakistan to help tackle swarms of crop-eating locusts..."

"An agricultural expert behind the scheme says a single duck can eat more than 200 locusts a day and can be more effective than pesticides.... Lu Lizhi, a senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told Bloomberg that the ducks are 'biological weapon.' He said that while chickens could eat about 70 locusts in one day a duck could devour more than three times that number. 'Ducks like to stay in a group so they are easier to manage than chickens,' he told Chinese media.... 'Go, ducks! I hope you come back alive,' wrote one user of China's Twitter-like Weibo platform. 'Heroic ducks in harm's way!' said another, in a parody of the description commonly used for medical staff tackling the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. However, a professor from the China Agriculture University, who is part of the delegation to Pakistan, questioned whether the ducks would be suited to the mainly arid conditions where the locusts are a problem. 'Ducks rely on water, but in Pakistan's desert areas, the temperature is very high,' Zhang Long told reporters in Pakistan."

Possibly the feel-good story of the day, reported at BBC... but I'm not understanding ducks in the desert... because chickens are harder to manage?? And it's interesting to get a little taste of Chinese coronavirus humor ("Heroic ducks in harm's way!").

38 comments:

Leland said...

China should contact Disney and work on a cooperative agreement for movie rights and call it Operation Mighty Ducks.

Tomcc said...

Are they going to draw down their own tactical supply of ducks? Or, are these free range ducks that are about to be commandeered?

Jim Gust said...

Nothing stops a swarm of insects except their own overpopulation.

alanc709 said...

What China is proposing will lead to an ecological disaster.

JRoberts said...

"What China is proposing will lead to an ecological disaster."

My thought as well. I'm immediately reminded of Kudzu in the SE United States, Pythons in the Everglades. The list is almost endless.

Achilles said...

This is an academic shitting strawberry ice cream.

Stupid.

Achilles said...

alanc709 said...
What China is proposing will lead to an ecological disaster.

What China is Doing will lead to an ecological disaster.

What China is Proposing to stupid leftist intellectuals to make the leftists feel better about supporting and apologizing for regime atrocities will never happen and is just fucking stupid.

Phidippus said...

Pakistan has more than enough diseases without importing more from China.

Where the hell does this idiot think the virus reservoirs are? It's the birds, stupid.

Greg Hlatky said...

The Four Pests Campaign

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pests_Campaign

DKWalser said...

As anyone from Utah can tell you, for locusts, seagulls are what you want.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_gulls

Greg Hlatky said...

Ecological catastrophe is always falling on the United States but lands in socialist countries.

mandrewa said...

Actually I did raise 60 free-ranging ducks one year, maybe six years ago. Just as an experiment to see what it was like. Of course this wasn't in the desert and there was a pond involved.

But I used to have a lot of grasshoppers and I don't remember seeing a single grasshopper since then.

This is probably just a coincidence. Although I am really puzzled about the year-to-year variation in certain animal species. Some years there just seem to be a whole lot of something, and then the next year it's practically invisible.

PM said...

Never introduce one species to eliminate another.

Original Mike said...

"What China is proposing will lead to an ecological disaster."

Yep. I'm in New Zealand right now. The number of rabbits (an introduced species) is mind boggling.

"Where the hell does this idiot think the virus reservoirs are? It's the birds, stupid."

This, too.

God, people can be stupid.

bagoh20 said...

Why don't they just let the Jews leave?

rcocean said...

Ducks are great, although they do need water, which I assume will be provided to wash down all the yummy locusts. What happens after they're all eaten? Will there be Duck Soup for months?

Roughcoat said...

Never introduce one species to eliminate another.

Coho salmon were successfully introduced into Lake Michigan to cull the alewife (shad) population.

Anyone here from Chicago remember the great alewife die-offs in the 50s and 60s? Millions and millions and millions of dead alewives drifting onto Illinois beaches rotting on the sand and in the shallows. What a stench.

Meade said...

Skip the middle[duck], eat the locusts. Highly nutritious.

Roughcoat said...

My border collies herd ducks as well sheep. It;s fun, and funny, to watch them herd ducks.

Roughcoat said...

Skip the middle[duck], eat the locusts. Highly nutritious.

Lemme guess -- they taste like chicken?

Problem is, you're hungry an hour after eating them.

rhhardin said...

Cane toads are the answer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SBLf1tsoaw

Best film ever.

sparrow said...

No ecological disaster IMO, just a lot of ducks dead from the heat.

tcrosse said...

"What China is proposing will lead to an ecological disaster."

That's a canard.

Greg Hlatky said...

One hour after eating at a German-Chinese restaurant you're hungry for more territory.

readering said...

Surely where there are crops there is water.

tim maguire said...

Does China have 100,000 ducks laying about that they can spare?

Bill Crawford said...

the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told Bloomberg

I read this and first thought, Mike Bloomberg?

OnlyInCA said...

OMG on Cane Toad film from rhhardin at 2:56 pm!

OnlyInCA said...

OMG on Cane Toad film from rhhardin at 2:56 pm!

wbfjrr2 said...

The Chinese eat EVERY part of the duck, except the actual bill. 4 duck heads arranged almost swastica shaped on a plate is a common menu feature. Duck web (the webbing between the toes, is another yummy treat.

Send a dozen or two million Chinese over, they’ll definitely eat the locusts, Meade. Two blocks from the Forbidden City in Beijing is a street called “bug street” by westerners. Every conceivable bug served up, usually fried and skewered on bamboo sticks. Locusts, crickets,, caterpillars, roaches, centipedes, scorpions. Don’t taste like chicken at all. Taste like cartilage at best. Very crunchy.

When we lived in Shanghai, we never saw rats, even in the wet markets. Protein to the Chinese, who for many many centuries did not have enough protein, so they eat anything that moves.

Tough, hard working people for the most part.

Phidippus said...

I nominate bagoh20 for the win.

I mean, people never seem to learn, right?

Josephbleau said...

Solution one is to tell the Chinese that eating locusts gives you great sexual stamina. Solution 0.5 is to modify duck DNA so that unless they consume locust DNA they die, then breed a bunch of them. If they don't really die then import either rabbits or dingos from 'Straya.

tommyesq said...

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse. She's dead, of course.

wildswan said...

One of the apocalypse rumors I heard was that China had rounded up all the chickens in China and sent them to its most western province to fight huge swarms of locusts there. And all the chickens died. But maybe the chickens just ran. Or maybe there was a chicken in every pot in western China. Now they're sending in the ducks because like good Communists ducks stay in groups, do what they're told and eat what they're given. The Hero Ducks of Peking.

walter said...

Major duck move.
Should have hats.

John henry said...

100,000 ducks eating 200 locusts is 20 million locusts a day.

I understand that there's billions or tens of billions of locusts.

It is going to take the ducks 50 days to eat a billion locusts.

Meanwhile the locusts are breeding and learning to avoid ducks.

The math doesn't look right to me.

What's wrong with massive clouds of ddt to kill the locusts?

John Henry

Char Char Binks said...

It’s a fowl idea. Lord help them when they can’t get rid of their duck overlords.

Sam L. said...

Ducks can fly. Chickens...not really. Maybe 10 feet out and 2 feet off the ground.