House and home

Published: Wednesday 15 September 2004

The grasslands in China are fast depleting and the food habits of the country's insect population are to blame. Nearly 75,000 hectares of grasslands in five counties and cities have been attacked by swarms of locusts, caterpillars and bugs. According to Wang Wei, an official with the local livestock and grassland protection department, the plague is the worst ever in the last two decades. "The population density in some places reaches up to 220 insects per square metre," he said. The attack has endangered the lives of 20,000 domestic animals. The insects have eaten almost all of the grass in the three towns in Maqu county, dubbed the best natural meadow in Asia.

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