General Situation during February 2003
Forecast until mid-April 2003
The Desert Locust situation remained calm during February. Small-scale breeding occurred near the Red Sea coast in Sudan. There were also unconﬁrmed reports of adults and hoppers in northern Mali. Breeding conditions were generally dry throughout the recession area because of poor rainfall. In South-West Asia, unprecedented rains occurred in southern Pakistan, including Baluchistan where small-scale breeding is expected during the forecast period.
Western Region. Very little rain fell in the region during February. Consequently, dry conditions prevailed except for localized areas of green vegetation in a few parts of northwestern Mauritania, northern Mali, Niger and central Algeria. No locusts were reported although there were unconfirmed sightings from travellers and nomads of locust adults and hoppers in northern Mali. No significant developments are expected.
Central Region. Small-scale breeding occurred near the Red Sea coast in northeastern Sudan where heavy rains fell in November and isolated hoppers and adults were present in a few wadis. Elsewhere, no locusts were reported in the region. Very little rain fell during February except for light showers along the Red Sea coast in Yemen as well as in the interior. Regular surveys should be conducted in these places during the forecast period. Poor rainfall in most of the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea has resulted in conditions becoming dry and further breeding is unlikely. No significant developments are expected.
Eastern Region. Unusually heavy and widespread showers fell for four days in southern Pakistan, extending to adjacent areas of Iran, Afghanistan and Rajasthan, India. As a result, conditions are expected to improve in the spring breeding areas along the coast and in the interior of Baluchistan in Iran and Pakistan. Although locusts have not been reported in Baluchistan, they are likely to be present or will appear and breed on a small scale from March onwards. Regular monitoring should continue in all of these areas during the forecast period.