Small swarms arrive in Horn of Africa
Recent reports indicate that Desert Locust infestations are present in coastal areas of northern Somalia that were affected last month by a rare tropical cyclone.
The cyclone brought heavy rains and flooding. Adult groups and a few small swarms are thought to have crossed the Gulf of Aden from southern Yemen to coastal areas of northern Somalia on winds associated with the cyclone. So far, two areas appear to be affected: the northeast where mature gregarious adults were seen copulating this week on the coast between Las Koreh and Bosaso, and on the northwest coast where there were unconfirmed reports of hopper bands west of Berbera near Gerisa. Survey teams are being mobilised to confirm the infestations.
As it is the beginning of the winter breeding season, egg-laying in areas of recent rains will cause hatching, hopper band formation and a further increase in locust numbers in the coming months.
The situation continues to remain very serious in Yemen where an increasing number of new generation immature swarms are forming on the northern coast of the Red Sea, and in Eritrea as control operations continue against hopper bands on the central coast near Massawa where new swarms may form shortly.
In Sudan, breeding is underway on the Red Sea coast in the Tokar Delta, and adults have appeared further south towards the border of Eritrea. Survey and control operations are in progress.
Efforts continue to control an outbreak in northwest Mauritania that developed in October. Control operations are in progress against hopper bands and groups of hoppers and adults.