Desert Locust situation update 8 June 2012
More locusts arrive in Niger and Mali from Algeria and Libya
More groups of immature Desert Locust adults, including a few swarms, have arrived in northern Niger and probably northern Mali during the past week. The locusts are coming from outbreak areas along both sides of the Algeria/Libya border where locust infestations are declining and control operations have been in progress since February but were hampered by insecurity.
In Niger, groups of immature adults have been reported throughout the north, mainly on the eastern side of the Tamesna Plains between Arlit and Agadez, in the Air Mountains, on the western edge of the Tenere Desert, and near Bilma and the Djado Plateau. At least one immature swarm was seen south of Arlit, and three mature swarms were seen in the Air Mountains moving south to the Sahelian zone. Adult groups and a few small swarms are expected to arrive in agricultural production areas in central Niger between Tahoua and Termit (northeast of Zinder), coinciding with the planting and emergence of this year's crops.
Good rains started about six weeks earlier than normal this year and breeding conditions are already favorable in the Sahel of Niger and Mali. Consequently, at least one and probably two generations of breeding will occur this summer and cause locust numbers to increase dramatically in Niger and Mali, and perhaps Chad. The first generation of egg-laying is expected to start in mid-June and continue into July. Control operations are likely to be necessary against hopper bands and swarms throughout the summer.
In Mali, nomads reported a large locust swarm in the Timetrine area of the north in late May.
Locust teams in Niger have been mobilized in the north and so far 25 ha have been treated. It is unlikely that teams in Mali will be able to operate in the north this summer. Nevertheless, all efforts are required to find the locust infestations and treat them in order to reduce locust numbers and protect agricultural crops.