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Desert Locust Bulletin 344 (May 2007) [EN/AR]

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General Situation during May 2007
Forecast until mid-July 2007

The Desert Locust situation has become extremely serious in the interior of Yemen where unusually heavy rains fell and breeding occurred over a large area during May. Consequently, aerial operations requiring external assistance will need to be mounted in July to avoid the formation of swarms and to minimize the threat to agriculture. Control operations continued in the interior of Saudi Arabia against hopper bands but declined along both sides of the Red Sea. Operations were also mounted against hopper bands on the coast of Iran and Pakistan, along the Ethiopian and northern Somalia border, and in central Algeria. A tropical cyclone is likely to affect current infestations in the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia. All efforts should be made to monitor the developing and potentially dangerous situation closely and carefully.

Western Region. The situation remained calm in the region during May. Limited breeding continued in central Algeria where ground control operations were carried out against small hopper bands in irrigated cropping areas. Isolated solitarious adults were reported in northern Mali and southeast Niger. Small-scale breeding will commence with the onset of the seasonal rains in southern Mauritania, northern Mali and Niger, and in eastern Chad in July, causing locust numbers to increase slightly.

Central Region. Aerial and ground control operations continued against hopper bands on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia where infestations had declined by mid-May. Hatching and band formation occurred in the interior of Saudi Arabia and control operations were in progress throughout the month. Any infestations that are not controlled are likely to form small swarms in June that could move to Sudan and Yemen. Widespread breeding occurred in the interior of Yemen causing numerous hopper bands to form within a large remote area. New swarms will form and another generation of breeding will occur in July that will threaten crops and pastures. Small swarms are likely to form along the border of Ethiopia and northern Somalia and probably remain there to mature and lay eggs in July. Locusts declined on the Red Sea coast in Sudan as groups of adults moved to the Nile Valley where small-scale breeding is likely to occur there and elsewhere in the interior during July. Scattered adults were present in southern Egypt and in northern Oman.

Eastern Region. Small hopper bands formed on the coast of southeast Iran and western Pakistan during May from breeding that occurred in the spring. Local breeding continued in Rajasthan, India near the border with Pakistan. Ground control operations were carried out in all three countries. Higher than normal populations are expected to be present at the beginning of the summer along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border where breeding will start with the onset of the monsoon rains.