Desert Locust situation update 9 August 2016

Mature swarm arrives on Pakistan coast from Yemen

On 3 August, a small mature swarm arrived on the coast of Pakistan in the Uthal area west of Karachi. DLIS first provided early warning of this threat to Pakistan on 18 May. Local breeding has been in progress near Uthal since mid-July. Upon arrival, the swarm dispersed, mixed with local solitarious hoppers and adults, copulated and laid eggs. Ground control operations were immediately launched and 200 ha have been treated as today. The swarm most likely originated from recent breeding in Yemen and migrated for 3-4 days on strong southwesterly monsoon winds over the Arabian Sea. Although good control mortality was achieved, it is likely that egg-laying could not be entirely prevented. Consequently, hatching is expected to start about mid-August with a risk that small hopper bands could form.

A few more small swarms may appear in the Uthal area or along the Indo-Pakistan border but it is difficult to say with precision as the current situation in Yemen remains unclear. In addition, there remains a low risk that a few small swarms from Yemen could also appear in adjacent areas of Saudi Arabia and Oman or move to northern Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea. All of these countries should remain extremely vigilant during August and September.