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Editorial Staff

There's a really cute little bird, a kind of weaver finch, that lives in Africa. The government of Tanzania has tried to kill 5.6 million of them in a single operation, and they think they have got about 5 million. It's a fraction of the continent's population but it's the bulk of the flock that has swarmed, locust-like, onto crops. Their destructive power is biblical and in a country where food is always a challenge, "the world's most abundant wild species," can easily turn feast into famine for millions. It's not migratory: it's spreading, an alien invasive species that lays waste to vast tracts of land, like a feathered locust.