Desert Locust situation update, 4 February 2013

Situation remains serious along both sides of the Red Sea

The Desert Locust situation continues to remain serious in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea. More hopper groups and bands have formed in the past few weeks on the coast in southeast Egypt, northeast Sudan and on the central and northern coasts in Saudi Arabia. A few hopper groups and small bands have also formed along both sides of the Sudan/Eritrea border. Ground control operations are progress in all countries, supplemented by aerial operations in Sudan and Saudi Arabia. A second generation of breeding is likely to occur in the coming months that will cause locust numbers to increase further. All efforts are required to control the infestations in order to reduce potential migration to the vast spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia in about March.

In the Western Region, the situation has calmed down in the Sahel where only small residual infestations are present in parts of northern Niger and perhaps in northern Mali. Several adult groups and small swarms formed in the southern part of Western Sahara during January and moved to adjacent areas of northwest Mauritania. Control operations were undertaken in Mauritania and Morocco. Low to moderate numbers of locusts are expected to persist in both countries. Elsewhere, a few small adult groups were treated in irrigated areas near Adrar in the central Sahara in Algeria, and scattered adults were present along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.