As a result of egg-laying in mid-March and low temperatures, hatching occurred from mid-April onwards in the western Negev Desert of Israel and in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt where hoppers are now forming groups and bands in both areas.
In Israel, survey and control operations are in progress by ground and air to find and treat as many hopper infestations as possible before they become adults in June. The new adults may form small groups and swarms that could threaten agriculture crops. The last time breeding occurred and hopper bands formed in Israel was more than 50 years ago in April 1961.
In Egypt, insecurity is hampering survey and control operations in the Sinai. Breeding has been detected in a few places but hopper groups and bands may be forming in other areas that are inaccessible in central and southern Sinai.
Any adult groups and swarms that form in either country are likely to move south during June to the summer breeding areas in the interior of central Sudan that extend from Darfur to western Eritrea.
In Saudi Arabia, breeding continues in the northwest near Tabuk and control operations are underway. Some groups of adults moved into the interior near Hail and Riyadh, and breeding occurred on the edges of irrigated alfalfa crops near Gassim. There is a risk that some groups or small swarms could reach southwest Iran and continue moving eastwards.
In Sudan, breeding is in progress in the north where control operations continue against hopper bands that are forming along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile Valley. New adults are expected to form groups and small swarms in May that could threaten agriculture crops. Smaller-scale breeding occurred near Lake Nasser in southern Egypt.
In Northwest Africa, spring breeding is in progress in the northern Sahara of Algeria and, to a lesser extent, on the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Control operations have been undertaken in Algeria.
The Desert Locust situation remains serious in northern Sudan where hopper bands continue to be present in or near cropping areas along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile River. Some of the hoppers have reached the fifth and last instar stage. New groups of adults and small swarms are expected to form in May and remain in cropping areas where substantial damage could occur. Unless early rains fall in the summer breeding areas further south that extend from Darfur to Eritrea, the adults are likely to remain in the Nile Valley where they would mature and could lay eggs in June. There is a low risk that some groups and small swarms could move west towards the northern Sahel in West Africa. Survey and control operations are in progress in the infested areas.
The other concern is breeding that is underway in subcoastal areas of the northern Red Sea in Saudi Arabia where hopper bands are present between Tabuk and Kaybar and more hatching is expected in the Tabuk area in early May. Although survey and control operations are in progress, new adults could form groups and small swarms during May and move to the interior of the Arabian Peninsula where good rains have fallen on the edge of the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia, the interior of Yemen and in northern Oman. If locusts arrive in any of these areas, they are expected to mature quickly and lay eggs.
In Northwest Africa, spring breeding is in progress south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria where hopper groups and small bands have formed in some areas. Breeding will continue during May, which could lead to the formation of adult groups and small swarms that would move south in June to the northern Sahel in West Africa. So far, early rains have fallen in the Air Mountains in Niger, which should allow ecological conditions to become favourable for breeding. This is a low risk that a few groups and small swarms could appear in the Air during June from Sudan.
All efforts are required to monitor the situation closely and undertake the necessary control operations.
The Desert Locust situation continues to be serious in northern Sudan where a few groups of adults are still laying eggs, hatching is in progress and hoppers are forming small bands near crops along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile Valley between Wadi Halfa and Ed Damer. Survey and control operations are in progress against mainly second instar hopper bands to prevent new swarms from forming in May.
Locust populations continue to decline in winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea. No further infestations were seen on the southern coastal plains in Sudan between the Tokar Delta and the Eritrean border. In southeast Egypt, a limited second generation of breeding continues in the Abraaq area where groups of adults are laying eggs and hoppers are present. Ground control is in progress.
The situation has also improved further north in the Sinai Peninsula where no additional locust infestations have been reported. Control operations have come to an end in Israel, Palestine and Jordan and, so far, there has been no signs of hatching from earlier egg-laying.
Good rains fell at the end of March in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula from Hadhramaut in Yemen to the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia. Ecological conditions are expected to be improving and locusts may appear in both areas.
In Northwest Africa, groups of adults are laying eggs in northwest and central Algeria, and hatching of solitarious hoppers has commenced in a few places. Survey and control operations are in progress. Small-scale breeding is also underway in adjacent areas of northeast Morocco.
In South-West Asia, good rains fell in the spring breeding areas of the interior in southeast Iran (Jaz Murian Basin) and in adjacent areas of western Pakistan (Turbat Valley, Baluchistan). So far, only a few locusts have been reported in Iran.
The Desert Locust situation continues to remain serious in the Central Region. Hopper bands and swarms continued to form in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea during March. Locust numbers declined after mid-March due to control operations, dry vegetation and migration to the Nile Valley in Sudan and Egypt, and northwards to the Sinai Peninsula, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.
There remains a moderate risk of a few small mature groups arriving in southern Israel in early April from infestations that may be present in remote and inaccessible areas of the central Sinai Peninsula. Thereafter, the situation should become calm.
In northern Sudan, control operations are in progress against hoppers that are hatching and forming bands near crops along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile in northern Sudan. Swarms could form in May and threaten crops, and a second generation of breeding could take place before the summer.
There is a risk that adult groups and perhaps a few small swarms will move from the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia to the interior where one generation of breeding could occur in areas that received good rains in March. If so, swarms may form by June. Breeding could also occur in the interior of Yemen where good rains fell in late March.
In Northwest Africa, locust numbers are gradually increasing in Algeria and Morocco where egg-laying has started in the spring breeding areas south of the Atlas Mountains. Hatching and small groups of hoppers will form in May.
March 2013 situation.
No further swarms have been reported recently along the Nile River in northern Sudan but substantial egg laying is thought to have occurred over a considerable distance of some 1,000 km near crops, stretching from Wadi Halfa to Atbara. Hatching began last week and hoppers are forming small but dense patches and bands. Hatching will continue for at least another week and more bands will form. In the northeast, the situation improved and few locusts remain on the Red Sea coast and near the Egypt border. On the southern coast, control operations continue against infestations near the Eritrea border.
In Egypt, locust infestations declined on the southeast coast of the Red Sea near the Sudan border due to control operations and drying conditions. On the other hand, groups of adults continue to be reported further inland near Lake Nassor, in the Red Sea Hills, east of Cairo, and in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
In Saudi Arabia, control operations continue against hopper groups, bands and adult groups on the Red Sea coastal plains mainly north of Jeddah and, to a lesser extent, to the south near Lith. Some adult groups moved further north along the coast.
In Israel, ground and aerial control operations continue against adults that are maturing and started to lay eggs in the northern Negev Desert.
In Jordan, one swarm was reported in the south moving towards Quweira on 14 March.
In Lebanon, low numbers of immature adults were seen in coastal areas on about 15 March.
Additional movements are expected during the remainder of March and all countries should remain on alert.
Hatching commences along the Nile in northern Sudan.
The Desert Locust situation continues to remain serious along both sides of the Red Sea. In the past few days, more groups and small swarms have moved from the breeding areas on the coast into the interior of Sudan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. More locusts have also arrived in Israel and Eritrea. Survey and control operations are underway in all countries. Additional movements are expected during the remainder of March and countries should remain on alert.
EGYPT. Vegetation is drying out on the Red Sea coast and subcoastal areas except in the El Shazly and Abraaq areas where a second generation of egg-laying is underway. In the past few days, more groups of immature and mature adults appeared from the coast in Upper Egypt along Lake Nasser and the Nile between Abu Simbel and Kom Ombo. During periods of warm southerly winds, more immature adult groups moved north along the Red Sea coast to Suez and the northern Sinai between Ismailia and El Arish. Similar infestations are likely to be present in the central Sinai where many areas are inaccessible. Ground teams treated nearly 7,000 ha so far in March, and 40,000 ha during the campaign. There is a risk of small groups and swarms arriving in the northeast during periods of warm southerly winds.
ISRAEL. Another wave of immature adults and small groups occurred from the Sinai on 10 March, reaching many coastal areas and the northern Negev Desert. No significant damage has occurred. Ground and aerial control operations treated nearly 2,000 ha so far in March. There is a risk of small groups and swarms arriving during periods of warm southerly and southwesterly winds.
PALESTINE. Small groups of immature adults have been reported in a few places in Gaza, most recently on 10 March. Many of the groups are moving back and forth across the Egypt/Israel border.
JORDAN. Low numbers of immature gregarious adults arrived in the Aqaba Valley on 10 March. Field teams have been deployed, but control was not required. There is a risk of small groups and swarms arriving in the south during periods of warm southerly and southwesterly winds.
SAUDI ARABIA. Groups of immature and mature adults persist on the Red Sea coast between Masturah and Yenbo and, to a lesser extent, near Lith. Groups of mature adults have moved further north towards Khaybar and Duba where egg-laying is reported. Ground and aerial control operations treated nearly 7,000 ha so far in March, and more than 40,000 ha during the campaign. There is a risk that small groups and perhaps a few small swarms will appear in the vast spring breeding areas of the interior. This may be supplemented by locusts arriving from the western side of the Red Sea.
SUDAN. Breeding continues on the southern Red Sea coast near Eritrea where hopper bands, immature and mature swarms are present. Infestations are declining in the northeast near the Egypt border as groups and swarms moved to the Nile Valley. More mature swarms have been seen recently along the Nile between Atbara and Dongola where they are laying eggs in crops. Ground and aerial control operations treated 36,000 ha so far in March, and more than 150,000 ha during the campaign.
ERITREA. Breeding is in progress on the northern Red Sea coastal plains at the Sudan border. A swarm was reported on the escarpment near Afabet.
Elsewhere, fragments from a small immature swarm were seen on 6 March in western Algeria near Beni Abbes. These locusts probably originated from recent breeding in the Western Sahara.
Groups and swarms have moved from the Red Sea coast.
Remnants of several small immature Desert Locust swarms that appeared in Cairo, Egypt on 2 March were seen the following day near the international airport on the eastern edge of the city. Several small immature swarms moved to the northern Sinai Peninsula where they were seen on the northern coast near Bir El Abd and El Arish on 4 March. On the same day, locals reported seeing locusts south of El Arish near Jebel Halal, and at least one small swarm crossed the nearby border into the northern Negev Desert of Israel where it was seen in the Nitzana area near Be'er Milka. Control operations were undertaken immediately in both countries, and no damage to crops was reported.
Locust teams in both countries are checking all areas for any further infestations. There is a risk that a few more locusts from the Sinai will arrive in the Negev today on northwesterly winds, and some could reach adjacent areas of the Aqaba Valley in Jordan. From tomorrow onwards, the possibility of additional locust groups and small swarms moving into Israel and Jordan will decline considerably as the winds shift and come from the north and northeast.
FAO will continue to keep all affected countries informed on a regular and timely basis.
A few small swarms moved across the northern Sinai Peninsula.
On 2 March, at least one immature swarm appeared in the afternoon in the eastern Cairo districts of New Cairo and Mokattam and dispersed into several smaller swarmlets. The locusts originated from breeding that has been in progress since November in southeast Egypt between Berenice and the Sudanese border. As vegetation dried out, small groups and swarms of immature adults moved slowly north along the Red Sea coast, reaching Marsa Alam on 8 February, Hurghada on the 16th and Zafarana on the 26th. From there, a few moved to Cairo yesterday.
The locusts reached Cairo by flying on warm southerly and southeasterly winds associated with a low pressure system over the central Mediterranean. As this system moves further east in the coming days, the winds will shift and come from the west and then from the north by 5 March. As locusts fly with the wind, this will allow them to move towards northeast Egypt, the Sinai and, perhaps, Israel and southwest Jordan today and tomorrow. Therefore, it is unlikely that more locusts will appear in Cairo, and the threat to the Sinai, Israel and Jordan should decline after Monday.
National locust teams in Egypt undertook control operations in east Cairo yesterday evening. Survey and control operations continue in all infested areas of the country. Israel, Lebanon and Jordan have been alerted.
Locusts can move to NE Egypt, Sinai and Israel on 3-4 March.
The Desert Locust situation continues to remain worrisome along both sides of the Red Sea where hoppers and adults are forming groups, small bands and swarms in northeast Sudan, southeast Egypt, on the Red Sea coast along both sides of the Sudan-Eritrea border, and on the northern Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia. Some groups and swarms have moved out of these areas recently.
In Sudan, immature adult groups and swarms plus a few mature adult groups and swarms moved from the northeast, crossing the Nubian Desert, and reaching Abu Hamed on 13 February and the Nile Valley as far north as Dongola by the 23rd. Although control operations were immediately launched, damage was reported on winter crops and date palms. Hopper bands and swarms were also present on the southern coast.
In Egypt, immature adult groups and swarms moved north along the entire stretch of the Red Sea coast, reaching Ras Gareb (south of Suez) on 26 February. Other adult groups nearly reached the Nile Valley north of Aswan.
In Eritrea, at least one swarm arrived on the northern Red Sea coastal plains from adjacent border areas in Sudan on 22 February.
In Saudi Arabia, a few groups of immature adults and an immature swarm moved north in sub coastal areas towards Duba in the past few days. A second generation of breeding is underway on the northern coastal plains between Rabigh and Yenbo where hatching started a few days ago and new hopper groups and bands are forming. Hopper bands are present on the central coast near Lith.
Aerial and ground control operations continue in Sudan and Saudi Arabia while ground control operations are in progress in Egypt.
The current outbreak originated from breeding during the past summer in the interior of Sudan where adult groups and swarms formed and moved to southern Egypt and northeast Sudan in November. A few groups crossed the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia while several groups and swarms appeared in coastal areas on both sides of the Sudan-Eritrea border. First generation breeding occurred from November to January.
There is a low to moderate risk that a few adult groups and small swarms may continue north along both sides of the Red Sea in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, reaching the Nile Delta, the Sinai Peninsula and beyond during periods of warms winds associated with eastward-moving Mediterranean depressions. Israel, Jordan and Lebanon should be on alert.
A second generation of breeding will occur in Sudan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in March but it is expected to be on a smaller scale due to control operations and drying conditions. Consequently, hatching and hopper band formation will occur during March and new swarms could start to form in early April. By then, ecological conditions are likely to be dry along both sides of the Red Sea, unless further rains fall, and the swarms would move to the vast spring breeding areas in interior of Saudi Arabia and perhaps reach southern Iran and western Pakistan.
All efforts are required to maintain survey and control operations in the affected countries in order to find and treat all infestations and reduce the potential threat to crops and of migration to the spring breeding areas.
Swarms move from Egypt/Sudan border.
There have been numerous reports of immature Desert Locust swarms invading cropping areas in northern Sudan in the past few days. The swarms have originated from the winter breeding areas on the Red Sea coastal plains and subcoastal areas in northeast Sudan and southeast Egypt. The situation is potentially dangerous as more swarms are expected to form in the coming weeks that could move into parts of northern Sudan and southern Egypt. All efforts are required to control the infestations and protect winter crops.
At least six immature swarms and a number of immature adult groups were present on the Red Sea coastal plains of Sudan between Mohamed Qol (2054N/3709E) and the Egyptian border. Locals reported seeing the swarms flying high and crossing the border. At least one immature swarm and many immature adult groups were present in subcoastal areas on the western side of the Red Sea Hills in Wadi Diib. Several immature swarms moved to the west, reaching the interior of northern Sudan and the Nile Valley between Abu Hamed (1932N/3320E) and Dongola (1910N/3027E), including Merowe (1830N/3149E) and Ed Debba (1805N/3055E), on about 14 February, attacking winter crops and fruit orchards. Aerial and ground control operations were immediately launched and have treated at least five swarms so far.
On the southern coastal plains of the Red Sea in Sudan, four small immature and maturing swarms and groups of adults were reported and treated near the border of Eritrea. Control operations were also carried out in Eritrea recently. Breeding is in progress and late instar hopper bands and fledglings are present in both countries.
In southeast Egypt, ground control operations continue against immature adult groups and swarms on the coast and in subcoastal areas between the Sudan border and Marsa Alam (2504N/3454E). Aerial and ground control operations also continue on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia against hopper bands and mature swarms north of Jeddah and, to a lesser extent, on the central coast near Lith (2008N/4016E).
More swarms are expected to form in northeast Sudan and southeast Egypt in the coming weeks. If no further rains fall and vegetation dries out, some of these swarms could move into the interior of both countries and also cross the Red Sea to the coast of Saudi Arabia. As ecological conditions remain favouable along the border of Eritrea and Sudan, breeding will continue, causing additional hopper bands and small swarms to form. All countries should remain on high alert and make every effort to find and treat all infestations.
Swarms move from Red Sea coast to northern Sudan.
The Desert Locust situation remains worrisome in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea. Hoppers continue to form numerous groups and bands on the coastal plains in southeast Egypt, northeast Sudan, on the border of Eritrea and Sudan, and on the coast of Saudi Arabia near Lith and Yenbo. Despite intensive control operations, including aerial operations in Saudi Arabia, new swarms are forming near the Sudan/Egypt border and in Saudi Arabia. Some of the swarms moved north along the coast, reaching Marsa Alam in Egypt. The swarms in Egypt and northeast Sudan are immature and will not be ready to lay eggs for about three weeks while the swarms in Saudi Arabia and on the border of Eritrea were maturing and starting to lay eggs. Hatching and band formation will commence in these areas by the end of this month and continue during March. Consequently, locust numbers are expected to increase in the coming month. All efforts are required to control the infestations in order to reduce potential migration to the vast spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia.
Elsewhere, the situation remains calm. Limited control operations were carried out in the southern part of Western Sahara against groups of immature adults. A few small immature swarms appeared and were treated in adjacent areas of northwest Mauritania.
Hopper bands and swarms along the Red Sea coast.
The Desert Locust situation continues to remain serious in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea. More hopper groups and bands have formed in the past few weeks on the coast in southeast Egypt, northeast Sudan and on the central and northern coasts in Saudi Arabia. A few hopper groups and small bands have also formed along both sides of the Sudan/Eritrea border. Ground control operations are progress in all countries, supplemented by aerial operations in Sudan and Saudi Arabia. A second generation of breeding is likely to occur in the coming months that will cause locust numbers to increase further. All efforts are required to control the infestations in order to reduce potential migration to the vast spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia in about March.
In the Western Region, the situation has calmed down in the Sahel where only small residual infestations are present in parts of northern Niger and perhaps in northern Mali. Several adult groups and small swarms formed in the southern part of Western Sahara during January and moved to adjacent areas of northwest Mauritania. Control operations were undertaken in Mauritania and Morocco. Low to moderate numbers of locusts are expected to persist in both countries. Elsewhere, a few small adult groups were treated in irrigated areas near Adrar in the central Sahara in Algeria, and scattered adults were present along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Hopper bands and swarms along the Red Sea coast.
The Desert Locust situation remains serious in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea. During January, ground and aerial control operations continue against hoppers bands and a few swarms in northeast Sudan (15,600 ha) and on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia (3,500 ha). Ground control operations are in progress against similar infestations in southeast Egypt (3,100 ha). Another generation of breeding will occur in the three countries, causing locust numbers to increase further. Recently, a few swarms were seen laying eggs on the coastal plains near the Sudan/Eritrea border. All efforts are required to monitor the situation carefully and undertake the necessary control operations.
The Desert Locust situation is currently calm in the Western Region. In Niger, residual populations of scattered immature solitarious adults are present in Tamesna and Air while small-scale breeding is in progress in a few places in the Air Mountains. In Algeria, limited control operations were undertaken against small infestations of adults near irrigated areas in the central Sahara (Adrar). In Morocco, control operations (1,400 ha) were undertaken recently against groups of immature adults in the southern part of the Western Sahara. Limited operations are also in progress in adjacent coastal areas of northwest Mauritania, and scattered immature adults are present in parts of the north and northwest. Low temperatures will delay locust maturation and limit movements within the Region.
Hopper bands and swarms along the Red Sea coast.
The Desert Locust situation improved in the Sahel of West Africa as locust numbers declined during December due to control operations in Niger and Mauritania and drying conditions. On the other hand, the situation remained serious in winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea where adult groups and small swarms laid eggs, giving rise to hopper bands in Egypt, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Although control operations were undertaken, more breeding is expected and small hopper bands and swarms are likely to form during the forecast period. In Northwest Africa, small-scale breeding and low temperatures will cause locust numbers to increase slowly in Western Sahara, northwest Mauritania and southern Algeria where small groups and hopper bands may form. All efforts are required to monitor the situation and undertake the necessary control operations.
Winter breeding on the Red Sea coast.