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Witness
Meltdown Bavaria
Germany's new warmer climate has led to a sharp increase of woodland parasites.
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2009 05:56 GMT

 

Watch part two

Filmmakers: Tanya Peterson and Nick Turner

In Bavaria, Germany there is something nasty lurking in the woods. A plague of caterpillars that devours oak trees.

The oak procession moth and hairy caterpillars were once extremely rare, but in Germany's new warmer climate this parasites are now thriving. 

Pesticides can not wipe it out and burning its nests is only partially successful as stray caterpillar hairs can remain poisonous for several years - and not just to oak trees, to human beeings as well.

Georg Sperber has been in close contact with the parasites and paid the price. An ugly itchy rash that lasts for days and is virtually untreatable.

Georg is a retired forester with over fifty years experience in the forests of Bavaria. The 72-year old has lived and worked in the famous Black Forests of southern Germany all his life and has always enjoyed living in the woods.

But now he is concerned that the explosion of the oak procession moth population is a symptom of a much wider problem and that unpredictable weather patterns are to blame.

Tanya Peterson and Nick Turner went to Bavaria to see the downside of rising temperatures.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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