Desert Locust Bulletin 461 (February 2017) [EN/AR]

General Situation during February 2017
Forecast until mid-April 2017

The Desert Locust situation improved during February. Intensive control operations reduced infestations along the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia and locusts declined on the coast of Sudan as vegetation dried out. In Northwest Africa, limited control was undertaken against a few residual adult groups in northwest Mauritania. During the forecast period, adults will shift from winter to spring breeding areas. This may be most noticeable in Saudi Arabia where adult groups and perhaps a few small swarms could form on the coast and move inland. Small-scale breeding is likely to occur in northern Mauritania, along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, in the Nile Valley of northern Sudan and in southeast Iran but locust numbers are expected to remain below threatening levels in all areas.

Western Region. The situation remained generally calm in the region during February. Limited control operations (227 ha) were carried out against a few remaining adult groups in northwest Mauritania while scattered adults persisted in the north. Small-scale breeding took place in parts of the Western Sahara in southern Morocco but locust numbers remained low. During the forecast period, small-scale breeding is likely to occur in northern Mauritania and along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, causing locust numbers to increase slightly. In the northern Sahel, isolated solitarious adults were seen in southeast Niger.

Central Region. Ground and aerial control operations (4,243 ha) continued in Saudi Arabia against hopper groups, bands and a few adult groups on the central and southern Red Sea coast. By the end of the month, locust infestations had declined. As vegetation dried out, locust numbers declined on the Red Sea coast in Sudan where limited control (85 ha) was undertaken against groups of adults. The situation remained unclear in Yemen where surveys were not possible in winter breeding areas. During the forecast period, any remaining adults that escaped detection and control on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia may form a few adult groups or perhaps a small swarm or two that are likely to move inland and breed during the spring in areas of recent rainfall. Limited breeding may occur near crops in the Nile Valley of northern Sudan. In the Horn of Africa, a few adult groups from January breeding may form on the northwest coast of Somalia and move into adjacent areas of eastern Ethiopia. Elsewhere, no locusts were reported in the region.

Eastern Region. No locusts were reported and the situation remained calm in the region during February. Small-scale breeding is likely to occur in southeast Iran and perhaps southwest Pakistan in areas where good rains fell during January and February. Consequently, locust numbers will increase slightly but remain below threatening levels.