General Situation during December 2009
Forecast until mid-February 2010
The Desert Locust outbreak in western Mauritania came to an end in December and only small residual populations remain. Locusts concentrated in vegetation that remained green in northern Niger and formed small groups that were controlled by national ground teams. Local breeding occurred in one area of the central Sahara in Algeria and control was undertaken. In the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea, limited breeding was reported in Egypt and Eritrea while low numbers of adults were present in coastal areas of Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and northwest Somalia. During the forecast period, small-scale breeding will occur on both sides of the Red Sea, especially if more rains fall, while low numbers of adults are expected to persist in parts of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Mali, Niger, Algeria and Morocco. No signiﬁcant developments are likely.
Western Region. Locust infestations continued to decline during December in Mauritania due to control operations and little rainfall. By mid-month, no further control operations were required and the outbreak that developed in late September had ended. Nevertheless, a few adults moved north into southern parts of Morocco, Western Sahara and western Algeria. Ground teams treated 15 ha in the central Sahara of Algeria where local breeding occurred. In Niger, ground teams treated 1,600 ha of late instar hoppers and immature adults that were forming small groups in vegetation that was drying out in Tamesna. Similar infestations may be present in adjacent areas of Tamesna in eastern Mali but surveys are difﬁcult due to insecurity. Some of the adults probably moved north into southern Algeria where they were seen during surveys. During the forecast period, low numbers of solitarious adults are likely to persist in the above countries. If temperatures remain warm, small-scale breeding could occur on a limited scale in areas where conditions stay favourable. During periods of warm southerly winds, scattered adults may move further north towards the central Sahara and the Atlas Mountains.
Central Region. Local breeding commenced during December in the winter breeding areas along the western side of the Red Sea on the coast of Egypt and Eritrea. Low numbers of mature adults were reported on the coastal plains in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Isolated adults were also present on the coast in northwest Somalia. During the forecast period, small-scale breeding will occur on both sides of the Red Sea and in northwestern Somalia if more rains fall but locust numbers are expected to remain below threatening levels in all countries. In Oman, good rains fell in the north that could lead to local breeding in some areas.
Eastern Region. No locusts were reported in the region during December. Light rains fell in the spring breeding areas of western Pakistan that may allow conditions to become favourable for small-scale breeding to commence by the end of the forecast period. Breeding could also commence in adjacent coastal areas of southeast Iran.