Desert Locust Bulletin 414 (March 2013) [EN/AR]

General Situation during March 2013
Forecast until mid-May 2013

The Desert Locust situation remained serious during March in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea as control operations continued against hopper band and swarms. Locust numbers declined after mid-month due to control operations, dry vegetation and migration to the Nile Valley in Sudan and Egypt, and northwards to the Sinai Peninsula, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. Substantial egg laying, hatching and hopper band formation occurred near crops along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile in northern Sudan. Swarms could form in May and threaten crops, and a second generation of breeding could take place before the summer. There is also a risk that breeding will occur in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula where good rains fell during March. In Northwest Africa, locust numbers increased in Algeria and Morocco where breeding will occur during the forecast period.

Western Region. The locust situation remained generally calm in the region during March. A few small swarms formed in Western Sahara where breeding had nearly ended. An increasing number of adults, including a few small groups and a swarmlet appeared in the spring breeding areas south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, and started to lay eggs in the central Sahara of Algeria. Isolated adults were present in northwest Mauritania and southwest Libya. Limited control operations were undertaken in Morocco and Algeria. Small-scale breeding will cause locust numbers to increase further in Morocco and Algeria during the forecast period.

Central Region. As vegetation dried out along both sides of the Red Sea during March, adult groups and swarms formed, some of which moved north along the Red Sea in Egypt, reaching Cairo and continuing to the Sinai Peninsula, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. Egg laying was reported in Israel and Palestine. Swarms that reached the Nile Valley in northern Sudan in February and early March, matured and laid eggs that hatched, causing numerous small but dense hopper bands to form near crops. More hopper bands will form during April and swarms could form in May that would threaten crops and probably remain along the Nile to mature and lay eggs. Groups and swarms that moved north along the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia also laid eggs that hatched, causing hopper bands to form. Good rains in the interior of Saudi Arabia and Yemen may allow a generation of breeding to occur during the spring that could lead to swarms forming by June. Control operations were carried out in all affected countries.

Eastern Region. No locusts were reported in the region during March. Low numbers of adults are probably present in parts of Baluchistan in western Pakistan and southeast Iran, and will breed on a small scale in areas of recent rainfall. No significant developments are likely.