A defoliating insect wreaks havoc in the Maâmora forest (Northeast of Rabat) recently due to a delay caused by the limitation of aerial flights
« An overall area of more than 15000 hectares of cork-oak forests in the northeast of Rabat have experienced an exeptional attack by the destructive Lymantria dispar commonly known as (the gypsy moth)« .Specifies the Department of Water and Forests and ONSSA in an announcement.
Lymantria dispar or the gypsy moth is a defoliator of a serious range of trees and shrubs. When the insect swarms, its attack takes the form of thousands of caterpillars which desolate whole leaves, that could eventually extend to tens of thousands of hectares; hence, destroy the souce of cork-oak.
The Maâmora forest experiences pest attacks on a periodic basis. Nonetheless, the former has suffered damage more in this particular period. And despite the usual measures set up by the Department of Water and Forests and ONSSA to establish effective treatments for the infested areas, the situation that was closely monitored has worsened in the absence of planned treatments.
Explains the Water and Forests press release
« Treatments have been delayed due to the covid-19 restrictions associated with the use of aircraft. »
After obtaining the necessary authorizations that are essential during the delicate period the Kingdom is going through. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces as well as a specialized society in aerial treatments engaged in a fight against the insect to protect the Maâmora forest from the devastating gypsy moth.
The same source highlights that the gypsy moth does not affect humans’ nor animal’s health and that « the majority of trees withstand the attack and only suffer damage when the defoliation is repeated for several successive years »
Added the same source.
« To date, 15000 have been identified and designated to receive phytosanitary treatment and 5,000 hectares have been treated. »