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Desert Locust situation update 3 October 2019

Situation remains threatening in eastern and central regions

The current Desert Locust situation has deteriorated in Ethiopia and remains serious in Yemen, Pakistan and India.

Swarms laid eggs in northeast Ethiopia that gave rise to hopper bands and aerial control operations were carried out (4 636 ha). Once new swarms form, there is a low risk that they could migrate south to the Ogaden in southeast Ethiopia and north to the Eritrean Red Sea coast where early breeding already started and should start in Sudan by November.

In the Eastern Region, ground control operations increased along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border against swarms and a second generation of breeding that caused hopper groups and bands to form. India treated 84 639 ha in September while Pakistan treated 30 210 ha. As monsoon rains lasted longer than usual, infestations will persist in October. Any locusts that are not detected or controlled will form adult groups and small swarms that are expected to migrate in October and November west to southwest Pakistan and southeast Iran where rains are forecasted from October onwards. This would allow infestations to persist until temperatures warm up in the spring for breeding.

In the Central Region, hopper groups and bands formed on the Red Sea coast of Yemen and, to a lesser extent, in adjacent coastal areas of Saudi Arabia while breeding continued in the interior of Yemen. Control operations were undertaken in Saudi Arabia (4 195 ha) and in parts of Yemen (245 ha). Unusually good rains that fell in Yemen will allow breeding to continue, mostly unchecked, in the interior and on the coast, which will cause a substantial increase in locusts. Breeding may eventually occur in central Oman where heavy rains fell from Cyclone Hikka.

In the Western Region, locust numbers remained low in the northern Sahel of West Africa despite two generations of breeding in Chad. During October, adults are expected to concentrate and breed in northwest Mauritania where unusually good rains fell recently.

Previous updates

Latest Desert Locust Bulletin (No. 492, September 2019)

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Previous Desert Locust Bulletin (No. 491, August 2019)

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