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Desert Locust briefs 2021

19 April. Desert Locusts appear in Jordan and Syria

A few small mature Desert Locust adult groups and swarmlets appeared in the past few days in Jordan and Syria. The infestations are extremely limited in size and do not represent a large-scale invasion. Small-scale control operations have been carried out in both countries.

In Jordan, a few small groups and swarmlets first began appearing on 14–15 April in the south near Mudawwara and in the east near Ruwaished and the Rawdat Al-Bandan Reserve. Aerial control operations were immediately mounted by the Air Force, treating at least 300 ha.

In Syria, small mature groups arrived in the Euphrates Valley near the Iraq border on 17 April near Ash-Shafah and crossed the river to Al Sayyal in Abu Kamal district of the southeast. The adults settled near crops where local control operations were quickly undertaken.

The rare arrival of Desert Locust in Jordan and Syria are thought to be a single, unusual event caused by several days of strong southerly winds that brought the adult groups and swarmlets from currently infested areas several hundred kilometres to the south in northern Saudi Arabia near Tabuk and Al Jawf. The adults themselves originated from extensive breeding this past winter along the northern Red Sea coastal plains in Saudi Arabia. Although substantial control operations have been carried out by Saudi Arabia, treating more than 200,000 ha this year, it is common that some infestations escape detection and control because the breeding areas are so vast and remote.

While further arrivals are unlikely to occur in Jordan and Syria, there remains a risk that some of the mature adults may have laid eggs. If this is the case, hatching can be expected in about two weeks and small hopper groups and bands could form. If so, control teams should wait at least a week to ensure that all hatching is finished before treating in order to avoid spraying the same area more than once.

Elsewhere, the situation remains unchanged in the Horn of Africa where control operations

19 April. Desert Locusts appear in Jordan and Syria
Situation and forecast.

13 April. Upsurge declining in Horn of Africa where rains start

Desert Locust swarms are continuing to decline in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia as a result of ongoing control operations. However, good rains have fallen this month in parts of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia that should allow current swarms to mature and lay eggs. This is likely to give rise to hatching and the formation of hopper bands during May. Compared to one year ago, the scale and extent of the upcoming breeding will be significantly smaller, and the teams, aircraft and other control resources that are currently in place should be able to manage the anticipated breeding.

Even though the situation continues to improve, it is paramount that all countries sustain their current survey and control efforts in reducing existing swarms as well as detecting and controlling any breeding in the coming months. Intense vigilance must be maintained until the autumn.

Currently, the majority of the locust infestations in the region are present in Ethiopia where immature swarms persist to the east of the Rift Valley in the Bale Mountains and Harar Highlands. Both these areas have received rainfall that has runoff towards the eastern lowlands where breeding is expected to occur. Although the situation remains calm further south, a few small swarms may be present in southern Oromia and SNNP.

In Somalia, a few immature swarms were treated in the northeast between Galkayo and Gardo while there have been no recent reports of swarms in the northwest. In Kenya, a few elusive small swarms persist in Samburu county where they are maturing.

The further decline of the current upsurge in the Horn of Africa depends on rainfall and control operations during this spring and summer. If only limited breeding occurs in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia from now until June, followed by poor rains in northeast Ethiopia during the summer, and assuming that survey and control operations can be maintained, then the situation is likely to return to normal by autumn.

Elsewhere, limited control operations continue against hopper bands on the Red Sea coast in Sudan. Control operations also continue against hopper groups and bands in the interior of Saudi Arabia where more hatching and band formation are expected within a widespread area. In Iran, control operations are underway against a few mature adult groups and swarms in the southwest where breeding is imminent.

13 April. Upsurge declining in Horn of Africa where rains start
Situation and forecast.

3 April. Upsurge begins to decline rapidly

The current upsurge showed signs of significant decline during March as Desert Locust swarms continued to decrease in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia due to ongoing control operations and poor rainfall.

Swarms remained immature, waiting for the spring rains that are required for maturation and egg laying. While this may still occur in April, below-normal rainfall expected this spring would limit breeding to parts of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia at a much lower scale than last year. If this is followed by poor rainfall this summer in northeast Ethiopia, then the Desert Locust situation should return to normal.

Limited breeding occurred in northeast Tanzania from remnants of earlier swarms.

Although winter-bred infestations declined along both side of the Red Sea, late hatching and hopper band formation occurred in Sudan. More importantly, widespread hatching and hopper band formation took place in the interior of Saudi Arabia where control operations combined with earlier than normal dry and hot conditions should be able to reduce these infestations. In addition, strong winds carried a few small mature swarms to Kuwait and southwest Iran. This could lead to hatching and band formation in southwest Iran during April and May.

The situation remained calm in other regions and no significant developments are expected.

3 April. Upsurge begins to decline rapidly
Situation and forecast.

25 March. Swarms continue to decline in Horn of Africa

As a result of poor rains in Kenya and Ethiopia, the swarms currently present in both countries are remaining immature and continue to decline due to ongoing control operations. Without rainfall, the swarms will not mature and breed, thus severely limiting the scale and extent of any breeding this spring. The current situation is likely to continue for the remainder of this month as no significant rains are predicted to fall in northern Kenya, Ethiopia or Somalia.

For this reason, there is cautious optimism that the current upsurge is winding down in the Horn of Africa, especially if poor rains limit breeding this spring in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia, followed by equally poor rains during the summer in northeast Ethiopia. Nevertheless, it is essential to increase surveys and sustain current control operations in the affected countries as well as maintain a close watch for are any unusual developments.

In Kenya, a few small immature swarms continue to be seen mainly in the Rift Valley of Nakuru county west of Mt. Kenya. There were also occasional swarm reports south of Nairobi in Kajiado county near the Tanzania border and further north in Samburu county. Control operations are in progress, but some could not be treated as they are near communities.

In Ethiopia, control operations continue against a few small immature swarms in the highlands east of the Rift Valley, mainly in Arsi district of Oromia region and, to a lesser extent, further north in East Harerghe district. The situation has calmed down in southern Oromia and SNNP.

In Somalia, control operations are continuing in the northeast (Puntland) against some immature swarms on the plateau northwest of Iskushuban. A few hopper bands persist and at least one swarm was reported to be maturing in the same area. In the northwest (Somaliland), scattered immature adults are present on the plateau between Hargeisa and Burao. Most of the swarms are expected to remain on the northern plateau and perhaps drift west towards Jijiga and Dire Dawa in eastern Ethiopia.

In northern Tanzania, small-scale hatching occurred northwest of Arusha from remnants of mature swarms that laid eggs at the beginning of this month. Ground teams are treating a few small early instar hopper bands that have formed.

In Saudi Arabia, locust infestations declined on the northern Red Sea coast. However, control operations are in progress in the interior against numerous early instar hopper bands from hatching in the spring breeding areas near Gassim.

Elsewhere, the situation remains calm. In Sudan, limited control operations are in progress against early instar hopper bands on the Red Sea coast north of Tokar Delta. Scattered adults are present in a few other places on the coast between Suakin and Karora. In Yemen, a few adults are present on the southern coastal plains.

25 March. Swarms continue to decline in Horn of Africa
Situation and forecast.

16 March. Swarms declining in Kenya and Ethiopia

Swarms currently present in Kenya and Ethiopia continue to decline due to ongoing control operations and no breeding. In the absence of rainfall, the swarms have remained immature and are awaiting the start of the rains to mature and breed. So far, these rains have not yet started but showers may occur by the end of this month in some areas that could initiate breeding. Nevertheless, the seasonal predictions continue to call for well-below normal rains this spring, which could severely limit the scale and extent of any upcoming breeding.

In Kenya, a few small immature swarms were seen in the past few days between Mt. Kenya and the Rift Valley in Nyandarua, Nakuru and Baringo counties. In Ethiopia, immature swarms persist in the Ahmar Mountains east of the Rift Valley in Oromia (Bale, Borema, Arsi) between Awasa and Harar, but appear to be declining in southern SNNP (South Omo, Konso). In Somalia, late instar hopper bands are present in the northwest (Somaliland) and the northeast (Puntland) where a limited number of immature swarms continue to form. Other areas in the northeast are likely to contain locusts but cannot be accessed. Swarms that form in the northwest and northeast are expected to disperse along the northern plateau while some could move into adjacent areas of eastern Ethiopia near Jijiga and Dire Dawa.

There is cautious optimism of signs that the current upsurge is winding down in the Horn of Africa, especially if poor rains limit breeding this spring, followed by equally poor rains during the summer in northeast Ethiopia. However, it will be essential to sustain current survey and control operations in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, and maintain vigilance in case there is any unusual rainfall.

The situation remains calm in Yemen where scattered adults are present on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts. As vegetation dries out further, a few groups and perhaps small swarms could form on the Red Sea coast and move inland across the highlands to the lowland desert between Marib and Wadi Hadhramaut where breeding could occur if rains fall.

In Saudi Arabia, control operations continue on the northern Red Sea coast between Bader and Umm Lajj against hopper bands and immature adult groups as well as in the interior where adult groups are breeding and more hatching is underway between Riyadh and Hail, causing hopper groups and bands to form.

In Sudan, limited breeding continues along the Red Sea coast near Tokar Delta where control operations are in progress against a few hopper bands and groups of hoppers and adults. In Eritrea, a few hopper groups are present on the central coast near Massawa.

The situation remains calm in other regions.

16 March. Swarms declining in Kenya and Ethiopia
Current situation.

3 March. Immature swarms persist in East Africa

Control operations continue in Ethiopia and Kenya against swarms that are still immature. Good progress has been achieved, particularly in Kenya where swarms are no longer arriving from the north. The swarms that are currently present in northern and central areas are smaller and much less numerous than one year ago. In Ethiopia, immature swarms remain in the south (South Omo, Konso), east of the Rift Valley in the Bale Mountains (Arsi, Borena), and to the northeast in the Harar Highlands (East Harerghe) where swarms were seen arriving from adjacent areas of northwest Somalia in the past few days.

Showers that fell during the last week of February may allow swarms to mature rapidly in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia and lay eggs that could hatch in late March, causing small hopper bands to form. However, breeding this spring is likely to be limited as control operations continue to reduce current infestations and well below-normal rains are forecasted.

In northeast Tanzania, there have been reports in the past few days of small immature swarms near Arusha in which some of the adults are starting to mature. These may be remnants of swarms that were previously treated.

In northern Somalia, late instar hopper hands are still present in the northeast (Puntland) and on the northwest coast (Somaliland) near Djibouti. New immature swarms continue to form in both areas and aerial control operations are in progress. The swarms are likely to disperse on the northern plateau, possibly reaching eastern Ethiopia near Jijiga and Dire Dawa. No reports of locusts have been received recently from central and southern Somalia.

In the Red Sea winter breeding areas, control operations are in progress against a few swarms on the central coast in Sudan where breeding is continuing. A few adult groups and small swarms could move inland to the Atbara and Nile river valleys. Local breeding is also underway on the central coast of Eritrea while the situation is calm further north near Sudan. In Yemen, low numbers of locusts are present on the Tihama coast.

In Saudi Arabia, control operations continue against hopper groups and bands on the northern Red Sea coast and against mature adult groups that are laying in the vast spring breeding areas of the interior. Early rains combined with unusually warm temperatures allowed ecological conditions to become favourable about one month earlier than normal, which could give rise to widespread hatching and band formation later this month.

The situation remains calm in the other regions.

3 March. Immature swarms persist in East Africa
Current situation.

23 February. Good progress made in Kenya & Ethiopia

In the past few days, light to moderate rains fell in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia that could be sufficient to allow the swarms present in both countries to mature and eventually lay eggs, which would give rise to another generation of breeding. However, the scale of spring breeding is expected to be limited because of ongoing control operations that continue to reduce the number of swarms and the likelihood of poor spring rains starting next month.

In Ethiopia, immature swarms persist in Oromia (East Harerghe, Arsi, Borena) and SNNP (South Omo, Konso) regions, including southern areas of the Rift Valley where more swarms were reported.

In Kenya, small immature swarms are declining in northern and central counties. Many of the highly mobile swarms continue to be reported many times repeatedly, leading to multiple reports of the same swarm. There were no new reports of swarms arriving from Somalia. A few small swarms moved from southern Kenya to northeast Tanzania where they were reported near Mt. Kilimanjaro in Longido district of Arusha region and further south in Manyara region. One aircraft was deployed from Kenya and control operations are underway.

In Somalia, hopper bands and new immature swarms continue to form in the northeast (Puntland). Additional surveys are required in the northwest (Somaliland) where a similar situation is likely to be underway. The swarms that form in northern Somalia are likely to disperse along the northern plateau, drifting west towards Aysha district (Somali region) in eastern Ethiopia. A few swarms may move south towards Kenya.

The present situation in the Horn of Africa differs significantly from one year ago. The current swarms are smaller in size and less numerous. So far, the swarms have not matured or laid eggs. Very little rain has fallen since the end of the short rains last year. Intensive aerial control operations, supported by ground teams, are well-established and making good progress in reducing locust infestations.

A few adult groups and small swarms are forming on the Red Sea coastal plains in Sudan and Eritrea. In Yemen, low numbers of solitarious adults persist along the Red Sea coastal plains. In Saudi Arabia, hopper bands are present and groups of immature adults are forming on the northern Red Sea coast. An increasing number of mature adult groups and a few swarms are laying eggs in the interior between Riyadh and Hail where hatching is expected to start in early March. Although intensive control operations are in progress, a few groups have nearly reached the Persian Gulf and could reach Kuwait and the coastal plains in southwest Iran during periods of south-westerly winds.

The situation remains calm in the other regions.

23 February. Good progress made in Kenya & Ethiopia
Current situation.

16 February. New swarms form in northern Somalia

In Somalia, new immature swarms continue to slowly form from breeding in the northeast (Puntland) where hopper bands persist near the coast. A similar situation is likely to be in progress along the northwest (Somaliland) coast as at least one immature swarm was seen on the escarpment. More swarms are expected to form this month in both areas and disperse along the northern plateau, drifting west towards Aysha district (Somali region) in eastern Ethiopia.

In Kenya, numerous small immature swarms persist in northern and central counties. While swarms arriving from Ethiopia and Somalia have declined, the highly mobile swarms present in Kenya are often seen many times, leading to multiple reports of the same swarm. Nevertheless, the number of swarms is declining as swarms have been reported during the past few days in 11 counties (Wajir, Marsabit, Samburu, Baringo, Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, Embu, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Nyandarua) compared to 15 counties last week.

In Ethiopia, immature swarms persist in Oromia (East Harerghe, Arsi, Bale, Borena) and SNNP (South Omo, Konso, Amaro, Derashi) regions, including southern areas of the Rift Valley.

Intensive ground and aerial control operations continue to make good progress in reducing the number of swarms in Kenya and Ethiopia, especially in the absence of significant rains that are required for maturation and breeding. In this way, spring breeding that is expected to occur from March to June is likely to be on a much-reduced level, considering that the latest precipitation predictions continue to call for unusually dry conditions.

In Yemen, locust numbers remain low along the Red Sea coastal plains where scattered adults are maturing and small-scale breeding may occur in localized areas of recent rainfall.

In Sudan, adults are forming a few small immature swarms on the southern coast of the Red Sea while small adult groups are forming in adjacent areas of Eritrea. In Saudi Arabia, hopper groups and bands are present along the Red Sea coast. Some immature adult groups and swarms have formed and are moving to the interior between Gassim and Hail where at least one group matured and was seen laying. Control operations continue in all three countries.

The situation remains calm in the other regions.

16 February. New swarms form in northern Somalia
Current situation.

9 February. Swarms persist in Kenya and Ethiopia

In Kenya, immature swarms persist mainly in northern and central counties. In the past five days, swarms have been reported in 15 counties (Madera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka, Tana River, Kilifi, Kitui, Machakos, Laikipia, Nakuru, Nyandarua) but as many swarms are highly mobile, the same swarm can easily be sighted several times. There have been no further reports of swarms in Turkana while a few small immature swarms formed from previous breeding along the coast near Lamu and probably in adjacent areas of southern Somalia. The number of swarms arriving from the north continued to decline. While rains have fallen in southern counties, more rain is needed in the north where the swarms are more likely to eventually mature and lay eggs. In order to reduce the next generation of breeding, ground and aerial control operations are focusing on the swarms before they can mature and lay.

A similar situation is underway in Ethiopia where immature swarms persist mainly in southern SNNP (South Omo) and east of the Rift Valley in Oromia (Bale, Borema, Arsi). As little rain has fallen in these areas, most of the swarms are expected to remain immature until more rainfall occurs to allow them to mature and lay eggs. Current ground and aerial control operations are working to reduce these swarms and the scale of the upcoming breeding.

In Somalia, a few new immature swarms have started to form in the past few days from breeding in the northeast (Puntland) where hopper bands are still present. A few residual hopper bands are likely to be on the northwest coast and one immature swarm was seen on the plateau south of Hargeisa, suggesting that new swarms are forming from the coastal breeding. As more swarms form in the north, most are expected to disperse along the northern plateau while some could move into adjacent areas of eastern Ethiopia or move south towards central and southern Somalia.

Mainly dry conditions are expected during the remainder of February in Somalia, northern Kenya, and southern Ethiopia.

In Yemen, scattered adults are maturing along the Red Sea coastal plains where small scale breeding could occur in the few areas that remain favourable. Current infestations are not high enough to warrant control operations. No surveys were conducted recently along the Gulf of Aden plains.

In Saudi Arabia, immature adult groups from local breeding along the Red Sea coast moved through the Asir Mountains to the interior near Riyadh and Gassim. Breeding continues along the coast on both sides of the Sudan / Eritrea border. Control operations continue in all three countries.

The situation remains calm in the other regions.

9 February. Swarms persist in Kenya and Ethiopia
Current situation.

4 February. Swarm invasion declining in Kenya

Numerous immature swarms persist in southern Ethiopia and Kenya. There has been increased swarm movement in Oromia (East Harerge, Bale, Borema, Arsi) and SNNP (South Omo) regions of the south. The few swarms that moved to northern Ethiopia (Afar and Amhara) continued to Eritrea and reached the Red Sea coast where they were controlled. In Kenya, immature swarms continue to spread westwards across northern and central counties where there are currently about 20 small swarms present, mostly about 50 ha in size. Some of the swarms are in community areas and therefore cannot be treated. A small swarm reached Keiyo-Marakwet county in the west and another one was reported today in Turkana county in the northwest; hence, there is a risk that a few swarms could reach eastern Uganda and southeastern South Sudan.

It appears that the peak of the Kenya invasion has now passed as there have been no new reports of incoming swarms in the past two days and no further swarm reports in the east (Wajir, Garissa). Intensive control operations are underway in Kenya and southern Ethiopia to reduce the potential scale of the next generation of breeding. If rains fall in the next week or so, the swarms will quickly mature and lay eggs that will hatch and cause hopper bands to form; otherwise, this will be delayed until the arrival of the seasonal rains in March.

In Somalia, hopper bands are present on the northwest coast and in the northeast where some have started to fledge and will be forming immature swarms. Intensive control operations are underway to reduce the number of new swarms that will form this month. Swarms that form on the northwest coast are likely to move to the plateau and adjacent areas of eastern Ethiopia while swarms in the northeast are expected to spread west along the plateau where they could mature and give rise to another generation of breeding from about mid-March onwards, especially if more rains fall. A few swarms could migrate from the northeast towards southern Somalia where crop damage has been reported from previous swarms.

Control operations continue in winter breeding areas along the Red Sea, mainly against hopper groups and bands that formed along the coast of Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent against hopper bands on both sides of the Eritrea/Sudan border. Any infestations that escape control in Saudi Arabia could form adult groups and swarms that would most likely move inland to the spring breeding areas of the interior. In Yemen, scattered adults persist mainly along the Red Sea coast and to a lesser extent on the Gulf of Aden coast in the south. There remains a risk that a few swarms may be present in inaccessible areas of the north, which could move to adjacent areas of southwest Saudi Arabia.

The situation remains calm in the other regions.

4 February. Swarm invasion declining in Kenya
Current situation.

26 January. Swarms appear in SW Saudi Arabia from Yemen

Several immature swarms arrived on the Red Sea coast and Asir Mountains in southwest Saudi Arabia during the past week. These swarms are likely to have originated from adjacent coastal and highland areas in northern Yemen that cannot be accessed safely. Substantial control operations are in progress against early and mid-instar hopper groups and bands on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia from Jizan to Al Wajh. In Yemen, scattered adults are present on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts that have not required control so far.

In the Horn of Africa, immature swarms continue to arrive and disperse throughout northern and central Kenya. In the past two days, swarms have been reported in 10 counties (Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia, Meru North, Meru Central, and Tharaka). So far, only a few swarms have started to mature. In the southeast, fledging occurred near Taita Taveta and a few late instar hopper bands were present along the coast.

In Ethiopia, immature swarms have moved into Afar and eastern Amhara regions while other immature swarms continue to be present and are spreading out in parts of Oromia and SNPP regions. Immature swarms persist south of Jijiga and a few remain in parts of the eastern Somali region where it is drying out. There is a risk that a few swarms could continue to move from Afar into Amhara and Tigray and perhaps reach the Red Sea coast of Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. Swarms will mature shortly and start laying eggs mainly in Oromia and SNNP.

In Somalia, hopper groups and bands are present on the northwest coast and in the northeast where laying is still ongoing. Some swarms have remained in central areas (Mudug, Galgaduud) where they are mature and may breed in any favourable places. Immature swarms are present in the south where they continue to move to Kenya.

As conditions remain dry in some parts of southern and northern Ethiopia and north-central Kenya, the swarms are likely to spread out looking for favourable areas to mature and lay eggs if rains fall in the coming weeks. This would give rise to hopper bands during February and March. Intense aerial and ground control operations are in progress to reduce the current swarms so that the scale of the upcoming breeding may be lower.

Breeding continues along the Red Sea coastal plains on both sides of the Eritrea/Sudan border where control teams are treating hopper groups and bands. Similar breeding is in progress in Wadi Diib in northeast Sudan.

26 January. Swarms appear in SW Saudi Arabia from Yemen
Current situation.

22 January. Swarms appear in NE Ethiopia

In the past few days, there have been new reports from northeast Ethiopia of swarms in Afambo, Asayita and Dubti districts of the Afar region as well as in North and South Wollo zones in eastern Amhara region. The swarms are likely to have arrived from the Sitti zone near Dire Dawa and northwest Somalia. There is a risk that the swarms could continue to move further into Amhara and reach the Tigray region. Elsewhere, immature swarms are present in Oromia and SNPP regions.

In Kenya, several immature swarms continue to arrive from the north, mainly appearing in the northeast and east, from where they are spreading west into northern and central counties. Swarms have now been reported in 11 counties (Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Turkana, Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo, Meru North, Meru Central, and Tharaka) compared to seven at the beginning of this week. So far, only a few swarms have started to mature. In the southeast, fledging is in progress near Taita Taveta, causing small immature swarms to form while a few late instar hopper bands are present along the coast.

As conditions remain dry in some areas, the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern and northern Ethiopia and north-central Kenya. Any rainfall that occurs in the coming weeks while cause swarms to mature and lay eggs that will hatch and give rise to hopper bands during February and March.

Intense ground and aerial control operations are in progress in both countries to reduce current swarm populations so that the scale of the upcoming breeding may be lower.

22 January. Swarms appear in NE Ethiopia
Current situation.

18 January. Swarms continue to invade Kenya

In the Horn of Africa, aerial and ground control operations continue against highly mobile swarms in Ethiopia and Kenya, and hopper bands and mature swarms in northern Somalia.

In Ethiopia, immature swarms that were previously concentrated along the eastern side of the Harar Highlands in Oromia region have now spread throughout the region to the east of the Rift Valley. Immature swarms are also moving northwards along the Rift Valley in SNNP region. Other swarms remain concentrated between Harar, Jijiga, and Dire Dawa where at least one swarm was reported copulating. Additional swarms are likely to appear in the Rift Valley south of Adama. The swarms will mature and lay eggs once rains fall.

In Somalia, breeding continues in the northwest and northeast where mature swarms and hopper bands are present in areas that received good rains from cyclone Gati in late November. Immature swarms continue to move south of the Shebelle River towards Kenya.

In Kenya, several immature swarms are arriving every day and spreading west throughout northern and central areas. Swarms have now been seen in seven counties (Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo, Meru North) compared to four last week. A few swarms are starting to mature. In the southeast, hopper bands are present near Taita Taveta and on the coast that could form swarms shortly.

As conditions remain dry in some areas, the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern Ethiopia and north-central Kenya. Any rainfall that occurs in the coming weeks while cause swarms to mature and lay eggs that will hatch and give rise to hopper bands during February and March.

Winter breeding continues along both sides of the Red Sea. In Yemen, maturing swarms appeared in the highlands west of Sana’a most likely coming from inaccessible areas on the coast and elsewhere. Scattered adults are present along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coastal plains but do not require control. In Saudi Arabia, control operations are in progress against mainly second instar hopper groups and a few bands along the coast from Jizan to Lith, extending nearly to Duba on the north coast. In Sudan, control teams are treating hopper bands along the Atbara River, on the coast near Eritrea and, mixed with groups of adults, along Wadi Oko/Diib in the northeast near Egypt. In Eritrea, hopper groups and bands are being treated on the northern coast.

All countries should maintain maximum efforts in conducting the necessary survey and control operations to reduce further migration and breeding.

18 January. Swarms continue to invade Kenya
Current situation.

11 January. Swarms continue to invade Kenya

In the Horn of Africa, immature swarms continue to migrate southwards from breeding areas in eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia to southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. There were reports that a few immature swarms reached Mwanga district in northeast Tanzania on 8 January 2021.

In Ethiopia, immature swarms are concentrating along the eastern side of the Harar Highlands in Oromia region as they move to southern areas of the country, including southern parts of the Rift Valley in SNNP region. There are also cross-border movements near Jijiga and northwest Somalia and along the southern border with Kenya.

In Kenya, immature swarms continue to arrive and spread throughout the north. So far, swarms are present in four counties (Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and, most recently, Isiolo). Breeding continues, and hopper bands are present in the southeast near Taita Taveta and along the coast.

In Somalia, mature swarms are present in the northwest and breeding is in progress on the coast where hopper bands have formed. Breeding also continues in the northeast where numerous hopper bands are concentrated between Iskushuban and Bosaso. Breeding may also be underway in other areas on the northern plateau that received heavy rains from cyclone Gati. Immature swarms continue to move southwards in central and southern regions towards Kenya.

Control operations continue in all affected countries.

As conditions are dry in some areas where the swarms are arriving, they are expected to disperse throughout southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. There is a moderate risk that a few swarms could reach central Kenya and perhaps the southwest as well as northeast Tanzania, eastern Uganda, and southeast South Sudan during January. Once swarms arrive in favourable areas, they will mature and lay eggs that will hatch and cause hopper bands to form during February and March.

Elsewhere, breeding is underway along both sides of the Red Sea coast. Hopper groups and bands are present along both sides of the Sudan/Eritrea border. Scattered solitarious adults prevail along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coastal plains in Yemen, and one mature swarm appeared in the northern highlands from the coast.

All countries should maintain maximum efforts in conducting the necessary survey and control operations to reduce migration and breeding.

11 January. Swarms continue to invade Kenya
Current situation.

4 January. Invasion of southern Ethiopia and Kenya to continue

Numerous immature swarms formed in eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia during December, which moved to southern Ethiopia, reaching northern Kenya on 21 December. More swarms will arrive during January and spread throughout southern Ethiopia and northern, central, and eastern counties of Kenya where they will mature and lay eggs that will hatch and give rise to hopper bands from late January onwards.

In northern Somalia, swarms laid eggs in areas affected by Cyclone Gati where hatching is underway and causing numerous early instar hopper bands to form. Hatching will continue until about mid-January. New immature swarms could start to form in early February.

In Saudi Arabia, swarms that appeared during December on the Red Sea coast, perhaps from Yemen, laid eggs that are hatching and causing numerous hopper bands to form. Some swarms also reached interior areas where they will slowly mature and breed once temperatures warm up.

Adult groups and a few swarms appeared on the coast of Sudan and Eritrea in December. Breeding is continuing, albeit on a smaller scale than Saudi Arabia, which will cause further hatching that will cause hopper groups and bands to form.

In Yemen, control has not been required so far because locusts are solitarious and scattered along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts. However, breeding will cause locusts to increase, leading to a new generation of hopper groups and bands that will require control from about late January onwards.

In the Western Region, locusts that concentrated and formed small groups were treated in Mauritania, Niger, and Algeria during December.

In southwest Asia, adult groups in southwest Iran will eventually breed once temperatures warm up.

During December, aerial and ground control operations treated more than 336 000 ha. Nevertheless, intensive monitoring and control efforts will need to be maintained and extended to all breeding areas.

4 January. Invasion of southern Ethiopia and Kenya to continue
Current situation.