Desert Locust Bulletin 343 (April 2007) [EN/AR]

from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Published on 03 May 2007

General Situation during April 2007
Forecast until mid-June 2007

The Desert Locust situation remains serious in the Central Region even though aerial and ground control operations treated some 46,000 ha during April. As vegetation dried out, swarms moved from the coastal plains of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden into spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, northern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia and laid eggs. If the subsequent hopper bands are not controlled, new swarms could form in mid-June. In this case, swarms in Saudi Arabia are likely to move west to Sudan and perhaps south to Yemen while those in the Horn of Africa could remain and breed or perhaps migrate to the Indo-Pakistan border. 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 April. Limited breeding continued in one area of northwest Mauritania and in southwest Algeria. Scattered adults were present in parts of central Algeria and western Libya. There is a slight risk that a few small swarms could move from the Central Region across the Sahel towards Niger, Mali and Mauritania. Consequently, Sahelian countries should be on alert.

Central Region. Aerial and ground control operations continued against hopper bands and swarms on the Red Sea coast in Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan where infestations declined in mid-April. In Sudan, a third generation of hatching and band formation occurred on the coast in Tokar Delta, and adults and a few groups moved west to cropping areas along the Nile. Most of the remaining swarms on the Saudi Arabian coast migrated east to the spring breeding areas in the interior where they laid eggs that should hatch in early May. If the resulting hopper bands are not controlled, swarms could form and move across the Red Sea to the interior of Sudan in about mid-June and breed with the onset of the summer rains. Some swarms could also move south into Yemen. Several swarms moved up the escarpment in northwest Somalia and crossed into Djibouti and eastern Ethiopia in April, and a few adults were seen in the northern highlands. At least one swarm reached the interior of Yemen. As a result of good rains in April, most of the swarms laid eggs that will hatch in early May, and new swarms could form by mid-June along the northern Somalia/Ethiopia border and, to a lesser extent, in the Yemeni interior. If conditions remain favourable in these places, the swarms will remain and eventually lay eggs. Elsewhere, small-scale breeding continued on the Red Sea coast in southeast Egypt, and was reported on the southern coast in Yemen.

Eastern Region. Small-scale breeding occurred in the spring breeding areas in western Pakistan and southeastern Iran in April, and a swarm was treated on the coast of Pakistan. Control operations were also undertaken near the Pakistani border in Rajasthan, India where local breeding was in progress because of pre-monsoon rainfall. Breeding will decline in the spring areas but will continue along the Indo-Pakistani border where higher than normal populations are expected to be present at the beginning of the summer.