Desert Locust Bulletin 423 (December 2013) [EN/AR]

General Situation during December 2013
Forecast until mid-February 2014

The Desert Locust situation remained critical along both sides of the Red Sea in December. Hopper and adult groups, hopper bands, and swarms formed in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea. Smaller infestations were present in Sudan. Control operations were carried out in all countries. As ecological conditions remain favourable, a second generation of breeding will cause locust numbers to increase further and more bands swarms are expected to form. The outbreak in northwest Mauritania has nearly come to an end as a result of intensive control efforts. Nevertheless, small-scale breeding is likely to occur in those areas that remain favourable in the coming months. A number of locust reports in northern Somalia are in the process of being confirmed. Heavy rains associated with a cyclone fell over much of the territory in November.

Western Region. Ground control operations continued during December against hopper groups, bands, and adult groups in northwest Mauritania, treating nearly 15,000 ha. This caused locust infestations to decline by the end of the month. Nevertheless, another generation of breeding is likely to occur but on a small and limited scale in those areas that remain favourable. Breeding may also occur in north and northeast Mauritania where good rains fell at mid-month. Low numbers of solitarious adults were maturing in parts of Western Sahara where small-scale breeding is expected during the forecast period. In Niger, hopper groups and adults were present in the Ténéré Desert while isolated solitarious adults persisted in parts of the summer breeding areas. No locusts were reported elsewhere in the Region.

Central Region. Locust infestations continued to increase during December along the Red Sea coastal plains in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea where a second generation of breeding was underway, causing numerous groups of hoppers and adults as well as hopper bands to form. Swarms formed in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. One swarm reportedly crossed the border from Eritrea to Sudan while others moved from Yemen to Saudi Arabia. Control operations treated some 80,000 ha in the four countries, including aerial operations in Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and Sudan. As ecological conditions remain favourable, second generation breeding will continue, causing more hopper bands and swarms to form during the forecast period. Elsewhere, there were numerous reports of locust infestations in northern Somalia that could not be confirmed yet. Nevertheless, groups of adults and perhaps a small swarm are thought to have laid eggs on the northeast coast.

Eastern Region. No locusts were reported and the situation remained calm during December.