Desert Locust situation update, 12 March 2013
Groups and swarms move in the Central region
The Desert Locust situation continues to remain serious along both sides of the Red Sea. In the past few days, more groups and small swarms have moved from the breeding areas on the coast into the interior of Sudan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. More locusts have also arrived in Israel and Eritrea. Survey and control operations are underway in all countries. Additional movements are expected during the remainder of March and countries should remain on alert.
EGYPT. Vegetation is drying out on the Red Sea coast and subcoastal areas except in the El Shazly and Abraaq areas where a second generation of egg-laying is underway. In the past few days, more groups of immature and mature adults appeared from the coast in Upper Egypt along Lake Nasser and the Nile between Abu Simbel and Kom Ombo. During periods of warm southerly winds, more immature adult groups moved north along the Red Sea coast to Suez and the northern Sinai between Ismailia and El Arish. Similar infestations are likely to be present in the central Sinai where many areas are inaccessible. Ground teams treated nearly 7,000 ha so far in March, and 40,000 ha during the campaign. There is a risk of small groups and swarms arriving in the northeast during periods of warm southerly winds.
ISRAEL. Another wave of immature adults and small groups occurred from the Sinai on 10 March, reaching many coastal areas and the northern Negev Desert. No significant damage has occurred. Ground and aerial control operations treated nearly 2,000 ha so far in March. There is a risk of small groups and swarms arriving during periods of warm southerly and southwesterly winds.
PALESTINE. Small groups of immature adults have been reported in a few places in Gaza, most recently on 10 March. Many of the groups are moving back and forth across the Egypt/Israel border.
JORDAN. Low numbers of immature gregarious adults arrived in the Aqaba Valley on 10 March. Field teams have been deployed, but control was not required. There is a risk of small groups and swarms arriving in the south during periods of warm southerly and southwesterly winds.
SAUDI ARABIA. Groups of immature and mature adults persist on the Red Sea coast between Masturah and Yenbo and, to a lesser extent, near Lith. Groups of mature adults have moved further north towards Khaybar and Duba where egg-laying is reported. Ground and aerial control operations treated nearly 7,000 ha so far in March, and more than 40,000 ha during the campaign. There is a risk that small groups and perhaps a few small swarms will appear in the vast spring breeding areas of the interior. This may be supplemented by locusts arriving from the western side of the Red Sea.
SUDAN. Breeding continues on the southern Red Sea coast near Eritrea where hopper bands, immature and mature swarms are present. Infestations are declining in the northeast near the Egypt border as groups and swarms moved to the Nile Valley. More mature swarms have been seen recently along the Nile between Atbara and Dongola where they are laying eggs in crops. Ground and aerial control operations treated 36,000 ha so far in March, and more than 150,000 ha during the campaign.
ERITREA. Breeding is in progress on the northern Red Sea coastal plains at the Sudan border. A swarm was reported on the escarpment near Afabet.
Elsewhere, fragments from a small immature swarm were seen on 6 March in western Algeria near Beni Abbes. These locusts probably originated from recent breeding in the Western Sahara.