Desert Locust Bulletin 415 (April 2013) [EN/AR]

General Situation during April 2013
Forecast until mid-June 2013

The Desert Locust situation remained serious during April in northern Sudan where hopper bands were present near crops along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile River. Swarms could form in May and threaten crops, and a second generation of breeding could take place before the summer or, if early rains fall, adults could move to the summer breeding areas in Sudan. There is also concern in Saudi Arabia where new generation adults could move from the northwest Peninsula, including Yemen, and breed in areas of recent heavy rains. In Northwestern Africa, breeding occurred south of the Atlas Mountains, causing locust numbers to increase and small hopper bands to form. As vegetation dries out, adults and perhaps a few groups and small swarms will move south towards the summer breeding areas in the northern Sahel where early rains have fallen so far in northern Niger.

Western Region. Locust numbers increased in Northwest Africa as a result of small-scale breeding south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria. Hatching started by mid-April and small groups and bands were forming in some areas by the end of the month. Control operations were carried out in Algeria. Breeding will continue in both countries, causing more hopper groups and bands to form in May. As vegetation dries out, an increasing number of adult groups and perhaps a few small swarms may form in June and move towards the northern Sahel, particularly the Air Mountains in northern Niger where good rains fell in late April. This could be supplemented by groups of adults and perhaps a few small swarms from Sudan. Elsewhere, low to moderate numbers of adults may start to appear in the summer breeding areas of Mauritania, Mali and Chad by the end of the forecast period, especially if early rainfall occurs.

Central Region. Hopper bands continued to form near cropping areas along the Nile River in northern Sudan during April. Groups and small swarms are expected to form in May and a second generation of breeding could occur in June along the Nile or adults may move to the summer breeding areas in Sudan if early rains fall. Locust numbers declined further in winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea due to control operations and drying vegetation. However, breeding continued in northwest Saudi Arabia and there is a risk that the new generation of adults could move into the interior and breed in areas of recent rainfall on the edge of the Empty Quarter and in the interior of Yemen. A few hopper bands were present on the northern Red Sea coast in Eritrea. Small-scale breeding occurred near Lake Nasser in southern Egypt. Control operations continued in Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea.

Eastern Region. Very few locusts were seen during a joint Iran/Pakistan survey in the spring breeding areas of southeast Iran during April. No locusts were seen in western Pakistan. Small-scale breeding may occur in areas of recent rainfall in both countries. By the end of the forecast period, low numbers of adults may start appearing in the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border. No significant developments are likely.