General Situation during January 2017
Forecast until mid-March 2017
A Desert Locust outbreak developed on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia in early January. Ground and aerial control operations were carried out against hopper bands and adult groups in order to prevent another generation of breeding and the spread of infestations to the northern coast and to spring breeding areas in the interior. In the Western Region, limited control operations were conducted against declining infestations in southern Morocco and northwest Mauritania. As temperatures warm up, adults and groups are likely to move to spring breeding areas in Northwest Africa.
Western Region. Locust activity appeared to decline in Mauritania during January perhaps due to low temperatures. Nevertheless, breeding continued in the northwest where a few small hopper groups formed. As vegetation dried out in adjacent areas of Western Sahara in southern Morocco, a few adult groups formed and were seen moving south at the end of the month. Limited control operations were carried out in both countries. As temperatures warm up, adults and groups are likely to move to the spring breeding areas along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and lay eggs. This may be supplemented by infestations that are probably present within a relatively large area of green vegetation in inaccessible parts of central Western Sahara. Breeding may also occur in northern Mauritania. Elsewhere, small-scale breeding continued in a few places in northern Niger.
Central Region. An outbreak developed on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia by early January as a result of good rains from last July to mid-September that allowed two generations of breeding to occur. A third generation of breeding is likely in February on the coast between Lith and Jizan where ground and aerial control operations treated 4,200 ha of hopper groups and bands in January. By the end of the month, immature adults were forming groups and there is a possibility that small swarms could form and move north along the coast or eventually to spring breeding areas in the interior. Hopper groups and at least one band formed from local breeding on the northern coast of Eritrea and control operations were carried out. The breeding extended to adjacent coastal areas in Sudan where a hopper band was treated. Immature adult groups are likely to form along the border from late February onwards. The situation remains unknown in Yemen where surveys could not be carried out.
Eastern Region. No locusts were reported and the situation remained calm in the region during January. Good rains that fell in southeast Iran and on the coast of Baluchistan, Pakistan will allow conditions to become favourable for spring breeding, which should commence during the forecast period.