General Situation during February 2007
Forecast until mid-April 2007
The Desert Locust situation remained very serious during February along the Red Sea coastal plains near the Sudan/Eritrea border and on the northwest coast of Somalia. In both areas, there were reports of hopper bands and swarms forming. More rains in March could cause the situation to deteriorate further and threaten the in Sudan and Eritrea. All efforts should be made to monitor the developing and potentially dangerous situation carefully.
Western Region. The situation remained calm in the region during February. Limited breeding occurred in northwest Mauritania and in central Algeria where low numbers of solitarious locusts were present. Isolated adults were also present in parts of the spring breeding areas along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and western Algeria. During the forecast period, small-scale breeding is likely to take place in both countries causing locust numbers to increase slightly. Elsewhere, isolated adults may be present in parts of northern Mali and Niger. No significant developments are expected.
Central Region. Although no reports were received from Eritrea during February, survey and control operations were probably in progress against small groups, bands and swarms forming on the northern Red Sea coast. Several swarms were reported in adjacent coastal areas in Sudan where they laid eggs that started hatching by the end of the month and the resulting hoppers were forming small bands. Aerial and ground control operations treated 2,700 ha in Sudan. Local breeding occurred on the coast in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and barrier treatments were undertaken on nearly 2,000 ha in one area in Saudi Arabia. The situation in Sudan and Eritrea is worrisome because breeding conditions continued to remain favourable during February. More rain in March would allow further breeding in which case locusts would rapidly increase and hopper bands and swarms would form and threaten the Region. Elsewhere, unconfirmed reports indicated that locusts increased on the northwest coast in Somalia where small hopper bands and swarms may be present. FAO missions will visit Eritrea and Somalia in the coming weeks to clarify the situation. A Green Muscle=AE biopesticide trial will be carried out in Sudan in March.
Eastern Region. The situation remained calm during February. Limited egg laying and hatching are likely in the spring breeding areas in western Pakistan where isolated adults were present in February and in southeast Iran. No significant developments are expected.