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15 January 2018

An exploratory survey of long horn beetle damage on the dryland flagship tree species Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst

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The study reveals and quantifies the damage of longhorne beetle on flagship dryland tree, Boswellia papyrifera (white frankincense yielding tree) . The research studied the lifecycle of the insect and identified it, which is a prerequesit for management. It shows the economic loss incurred because of the longhorn beetle damage.

In the dry lowlands of Ethiopia, a Cerambycidae insect is threatening Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst, the white frankincense-producing tree. This has tremendous consequences on both the country's economy and the livelihoods of the rural poor in these dryland communities. The product, frankincense (the white oleo-gum resin) has several uses. It burns as incense in temple rituals and a base for perfume and pharmaceuticals industries. Recently published work of WeForest staff (Negussie et al. 2018) showed, B. papyrifera and its distinctive ecosystem are at risk.

The study reveals and quantify the damage of longhorn beetle from Idactus spinipennis on the flagship drayland tree, Boswellia papyrifera. The research is the first of its kind to quantify the damage caused by I. spinipennis in frankincense woodlands in Ethiopia. It also studied the whole lifecycle of the insect and did the identification which is a prerequisite for protection and future management. The study also shows the economic loss incurred because of the longhorn beetle damage and management needs to reduce ecological and economic losses.

Read here.

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Aklilu Negussie Mekuria

Country Director Ethiopia

Aklilu oversees the various landscape restoration and planting projects in Ethiopia. He holds a PhD in Bioscience Engineering from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and a master's degree in Tropical Land Resources Management from Mekelle University (Ethiopia). Prior to joining WeForest, Aklilu conducted research in Africa and Europe for 12 years in forest ecology, management science, ecosystem safety, invasive plant, agronomy, plant propagation, bioenergy-biofuel, forest entomology, and non-timber forest products and worked for two years as a Consultant at World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)