General Situation during October 2008
Forecast until mid-December 2008
The Desert Locust situation remained calm during October. As the seasonal rains ended and vegetation dried out, locusts declined in the summer breeding areas of the Sahel in West Africa and Sudan, and along the Indo-Pakistan border. Small-scale breeding occurred in western Mauritania and in southern Yemen. During the forecast period, breeding will continue in these places, causing locust numbers to increase slightly. Small-scale is expected to start in northern Mauritania where scattered adults are present and in adjacent areas of Western Sahara where unusually heavy rains fell in September. Breeding is also likely to take place on the Red Sea coastal plains and perhaps in eastern Yemen where torrential rains and ﬂooding occurred in October. Elsewhere, low numbers of adults will persist in northern Mali, Niger and southern Algeria. The two areas of unusual rainfall in northwest Africa and Yemen need to be surveyed regularly to monitor breeding activities in the coming months.
Western Region. Locust numbers increased in western Mauritania from local breeding during October and as adults arrived from summer breeding areas where vegetation had dried out. Solitarious adults were seen in northern areas that received heavy rains in September. Small-scale breeding will continue during the forecast period in western Mauritania where small groups could form, and is expected to commence in the northwest and north. Breeding is also expected to take place in Western Sahara where ecological conditions had improved. Isolated solitarious adults persisted in central and northeastern Chad. Surveys were still not possible in northeast Mali and northern Niger where scattered adults are probably present and are likely to concentrate in areas that remain green during the forecast period. No locusts were seen in southern Algeria or reported from other countries in the Region.
Central Region. Locust numbers declined in the summer breeding areas in the interior of Sudan during October and only scattered solitarious adults remained in a few places between the Nile and the Red Sea Hills. No locusts were reported in winter breeding areas on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. Low numbers of locusts were present on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coast in Yemen, and small-scale breeding occurred near Aden. Unusually heavy rains fell for two days in eastern Yemen, causing severe ﬂooding and loss of property and life. The rains extended into central Oman. Once the waters recede, ecological conditions are expected to remain favourable for breeding for several months. During the forecast period, locusts will increase along both sides of the Red Sea and small-scale breeding is likely to commence as conditions become suitable. Most of the breeding may be concentrated on the coastal plains in Yemen that have received rains for the past few months.
Eastern Region. The locust situation remained calm in the Region. Low numbers of solitarious adults persisted in the Cholistan Desert in Pakistan along the Indian border. No locusts were seen in Rajasthan, India. As the monsoon rains ended and vegetation is drying out, locust numbers will continue to decline. Isolated adults persisted on the coast in southeast Iran. During the forecast period, isolated adults are likely to persist in southeast Iran and appear in western Pakistan. No signiﬁcant developments are likely.