Desert Locust Bulletin 405 (June 2012)

from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Published on 03 Jul 2012

General situation during June 2012
Forecast until mid-August 2012

The Desert Locust situation remained serious during June as adult groups and small swarms migrated from the outbreak area along both sides of the Algerian-Libyan border to the northern Sahel in Mali and Niger where rains have fallen about six weeks earlier than normal. Survey and control teams were mobilized in Niger but were limited by insecurity and a shortage of funds. Similarly, operations could not be carried out in northern Mali where locals reported small swarms. Breeding will occur in northern Mali and Niger, giving rise to hopper groups and bands in July and adult groups and swarms in August. Unless controlled, the infestations will continue to increase and threaten crops and pastures. Depending on rainfall and control operations, a second generation could occur in September, leading to a substantial increase in locust numbers. Consequently, the situation is potentially dangerous. Elsewhere, the situation remained calm during June and no signifi cant developments are expected during the forecast period.

Western Region. As vegetation dried out along both sides of the Algerian-Libyan border, adults formed small groups and swarms in inaccessible areas and moved south to northern Niger and northern Mali during the first half of June. Some adults were mature and ready to lay eggs. Most of the groups and swarms remained in the north but a few groups reached pasture areas in central Niger and started to lay eggs. Although there were no reports of locusts in Chad, there is a possibility that a few groups may have reached northern areas of the country. A few adults were reported in southeast Mauritania. Control teams in Niger treated 960 ha. Control operations ended in Algeria, treating 42,140 ha since January of which 987 ha were in June. No locusts were reported after mid-June in Libya where 21,400 ha were treated from February to the end of May. During the forecast period, hatching will occur in Mali and Niger during July, causing hopper groups and bands to form and giving rise to adult groups and swarms in August. Small-scale breeding is expected to take place in Mauritania and Chad. All efforts are required to conduct the necessary survey and control operations.

Central Region. No locusts were seen in the region during June except for small hopper and adult infestations in northeastern Oman, where light damage was reported on crops and date palms. Small-scale breeding will occur during the forecast period in the interior of Sudan and western Eritrea, causing locust numbers to increase slightly. Regular surveys are recommended in both countries.

Eastern Region. Locust numbers declined in the spring breeding areas in western Pakistan as conditions dried out during June. Only a few adults persisted in parts of the interior and coastal areas in Baluchistan. Low numbers of solitarious adult appeared in the summer breeding areas in Cholistan, Pakistan near the Indian border. During the forecast period, small-scale breeding will occur along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border, causing locust numbers to increase slightly but remain below threatening levels.