Saudi Arabian Cactus Problem


Those prickly plants can be a serious danger to cattle in dry regions, and they can spread pretty rapidly too. This is the first I’ve heard of a problem in Asia.

Landowners in Faifa city in Jizan Province have exhausted all options in their attempts to curb the spread of the… fast-growing purple-colored cactus…

“This type of cactus was only found in desert areas of the Tihama plains,” Bin Yahya says, “but over the time it spread to the foot of the mountains and then the baboons and birds and other animals brought it up the mountains. If we don’t tackle the problem soon, the cactus could sweep away all the pasture land and forested areas in the Faifa mountains.”…

The rapid spread of prickly pear in eastern Australia in the 1920s was considered to be one of the botanical wonders of the world, and its virtual destruction in a mere six years by cactoblastis caterpillars is regarded as the world’s most spectacular example of successful weed biological control.


    
    
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