Desert Locust situation update 23 December 2013

Situation remains serious along Red Sea coast

The current Desert Locust situation remains particularly worrisome in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea.

In Yemen, ground control operations continue on the northern and central coast of the Red Sea and, on a much smaller scale, on the Gulf of Aden coast where hopper bands were decreasing as fledging occurred and new immature groups and swarms were forming in all areas. A few immature swarms were seen in the foothills near the Saudi Arabia border and Sada’a, and northwest of Aden.

In Saudi Arabia, groups of mature adults and a few swarms formed and laid eggs on the central Red Sea coast near Qunfidah and the southern coast near Jizan. Aerial and ground control operations are underway.

In Eritrea, groups of mature adults were seen laying eggs on the central coast to the north and south of Massawa in early December. Ground control operations were in progress. The situation is less clear on the northern coast near the Sudan border.

In Sudan, breeding continues in the Tokar Delta on the Red Sea coast where hopper groups are present and adult groups are maturing and laying eggs. Hopper bands have formed in the northeast subcoastal areas in Wadi Oko near Tomala. Control operations are in progress in both areas. Only solitarious adults have been seen on the southern coastal plains near the border of Eritrea.

In Northern Somalia, small-scale breeding is in progress on the escarpment north of Burao where low numbers of hoppers and adults are present. Previously reported hopper bands on the northwest coast were not seen during surveys in the second week of December. The current situation is being clarified in Puntland where a swarm was reported in early December.

In Mauritania, the situation is improving in the northwest as a result of 50,000 ha of control operations and drying vegetation. Small groups of mainly late instar hoppers and adults persist in some areas.

In Niger, small-scale breeding occurred in parts of Tamesna and the Tenere, while scattered adults are present in the southeast Air Mountains and the Tadress area.