Desert Locust Bulletin 335 (August 2006) [EN/AR]

General Situation during August 2006
Forecast until mid-October 2006

The Desert Locust situation remained calm during August. Low numbers of locusts were reported in the summer breeding areas in the Sahel of West Africa in Mauritania and Niger, and are probably present in northern Mali. So far, small-scale breeding is in progress in Mauritania. Limited control operations were undertaken against small infestations in northwest Libya. No locusts were reported in the Central Region except for a few adults in southern Egypt. In Southwest Asia, scattered adults were present along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. Unusually heavy rains and floods occurred in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and India, which should allow ecological conditions to remain favourable for breeding for several months. During the forecast period, breeding will continue in the Sahel of West Africa and Sudan and along the Indo-Pakistan border, causing locust numbers to increase with a slight risk of a few small local outbreaks developing by mid-October.

Western Region. Isolated adults were present and breeding on a small-scale during August throughout a large portion of southern and central Mauritania. Although similar populations were seen in the Tamesna and Air Mountains in Niger and are thought to be present in northern Mali, so far breeding has not been reported in either country. Nevertheless, as good rains have fallen and ecological conditions are favourable in most of the summer breeding areas, small-scale breeding will occur during the forecast period and locust numbers will increase with a slight risk of a few local outbreaks developing by mid-October. Therefore, it is critical that surveys are undertaken on a regular basis in these areas throughout the summer. In Northwest Africa, small infestations were present in northwest Libya and ground teams treated 120 ha of solitarious and transiens adult groups mixed with hoppers.

Central Region. No locusts were reported during August in the region except for isolated mature adults at one place in southern Egypt. Unusually heavy rains and floods occurred near Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia near Jizan. The latter is a key breeding habitat for Desert Locust and ecological conditions are likely to remain favourable there for several months. Good rains also fell in adjacent coastal areas in Yemen. Regular surveys should be undertaken along the coastal plains in both countries because there is a good chance that breeding will take place during the forecast period and local outbreaks may occur. Surveys should also continue in the summer breeding areas in Sudan and western Eritrea.

Eastern Region. Scattered solitarious adults were present in parts of the summer breeding areas on both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border during August. Unusually heavy rains caused flooding in some places in Rajasthan, India and in the Tharparkar Desert of Pakistan. Consequently, ecological conditions should remain favourable longer than in most years and breeding is likely to extend beyond the forecast period, causing locust numbers to increase with a slight risk of local outbreaks developing. Therefore, regular surveys should be maintained in both countries for several more months.