General Situation during January 2015
Forecast until mid-March 2015
Desert Locust infestations increased during January along both sides of the Red Sea as a result of a second generation of winter breeding. Control operations intensified against numerous small hopper bands that formed in Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. Although there were signs the situation was improving, there remains a moderate risk that any locusts that escape detection or control could form adult groups and a few small swarms that may eventually move to the Eritrean Highlands and the interior of northern Sudan and Saudi Arabia. If locusts reach the interior of Saudi Arabia and the Nile Valley in northern Sudan, breeding could commence by the end of the forecast period. Elsewhere, the situation remained calm and no significant developments are expected.
Western Region. The situation remained calm in January. No locusts were reported in the region except for a few isolated solitarious adults south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. During the forecast period, low numbers of adults are likely to start to appear in the spring breeding areas south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, and in southwest Libya. Small-scale breeding is expected to occur once temperatures warm up and if rains fall.
Central Region. A second generation of breeding in Sudan and Eritrea caused locust numbers to increase along the Red Sea coast where numerous hopper bands formed. Control operations continued in both countries. By the end of the month, there were signs that the situation was improving as vegetation dried out and many of the infestations had been treated. Locust numbers also increased in Saudi Arabia where hatching and band formation occurred on the Red Sea coast. Aerial and ground control operations were underway in all areas. Scattered adults were present on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts in Yemen. During the forecast period, small groups and a few swarms could form on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Once vegetation dries out, they could move into the Eritrean highlands, the Nile Valley in northern Sudan, and the spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia.
Eastern Region. The situation remained calm and no locusts were reported during January. Light rain continued to fall in the Jaz Murian Basin of southeast Iran that will allow ecological conditions to be favourable for small-scale breeding during the spring.