Desert Locust situation update 26 February 2014

Situation remains serious on the Red Sea coast and in the Horn of Africa

The current Desert Locust situation remains serious in a number of countries along both sides of the Red Sea and in the Horn of Africa.

Yemen. Survey and control operations have stopped on the Red Sea coast. Most of the late instar hopper bands have fledged on the northern coast near Suq Abs and adults are forming groups. There were unconfirmed reports of swarms moving into the highlands east of Suq Abs, near Taiz and between Ibb and Sana’a. One swarm was reported on the coast at mid-month that may have arrived from Eritrea. Breeding is also underway on the southern coast west of Aden. The situation is becoming very dynamic.

Saudi Arabia. Aerial and ground control operations continue against hopper bands on the Red Sea coast between Lith and Jizan. Earlier in the month, a few mature swarms were reported near Taif, and adult groups and a swarm were present between Yenbo and Al Wajh. There is a risk that adult groups and small swarms will move to the spring breeding areas of the interior.

Northern Somalia. Ground control operations are underway on the northwest coast against mid-instar hopper bands near Garisa using biopesticide.

Sudan. Ground control operations are in progress against mid-instar hopper bands on the south coast near Aqiq and on the central coast north of Port Sudan. In the northeast, small adult groups are scattered along Wadi Oko/Diib and one immature swarm was reported. In the northern interior, ground and aerial control operations were undertaken against groups of laying adults and hatchlings in irrigated schemes along the Nile Valley near Abu Hamed.

Eritrea. Hatching and early instar hopper band formation are in progress on the coast south of Massawa between Inghel and Mersa Fatma. Scattered adults are maturing in the same areas. Further details are awaited.

All efforts are required to monitor the situation closely and undertake the necessary control operations.