Desert Locust situation update 3 September 2019

Worrisome situation in eastern and central regions

The current situation is most serious in Yemen, Pakistan and India, and it could deteriorate in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

In Yemen, swarms moved in the highlands and reached the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts while a few swarms migrated through Djibouti and reached Ethiopia. Adult groups formed on the northwest coast of Somalia and moved to eastern Ethiopia. Unusually good rains fell along both sides of the Red Sea in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea that will allow breeding from September onwards and hopper bands may form. A substantial increase in locust numbers is expected in Yemen as more swarms form in the interior and breeding starts in coastal areas. In northeast and eastern Ethiopia, breeding is expected to continue, giving rise to small hopper bands.

In Southwest Asia, swarm laying and widespread hatching caused numerous hopper groups to form in Rajasthan, India while a second generation of breeding occurred in Pakistan. Although ground control operations increased in both countries, there remains a risk of further breeding and the possible formation of new swarms starting in late September.

Smaller-scale breeding will occur in the northern Sahel between Mali and western Eritrea, causing locust numbers to increase slightly. Less breeding is expected in Mauritania due to poor rains so far. Breeding may also occur in southwest Libya.