Strict vigilance required during the next six months due to heavy rains
The current Desert Locust situation remains calm. Late summer breeding is in progress in northern Niger and breeding is underway in northwest Mauritania. Low numbers of locusts persist in northeast Chad and in the interior of Sudan.
During November, small-scale breeding will cause locust numbers to increase in northwest Mauritania and is likely to extend to areas that received heavy rains. Low numbers of locusts will appear along both sides of the Red Sea and also breed on a small scale.
There have been several significant events recently that will require regular monitoring and vigilance during the next six months in a number of locust-affected countries.
In Northwest Africa, unusually heavy rains fell over a widespread area of northern Mauritania, including the northwest of the country as well as adjacent areas of Western Sahara, southern Morocco and western Algeria between 15 and 25 October. Many places received several times more rain than usually falls during the entire year. As a result, ecological conditions are likely to remain favourable for Desert Locust breeding and survival for at least the next six months, even in the absence of further rainfall. In addition, good rains also fell in southwest Libya.
In the Arabian Peninsula, heavy rains associated with tropical cyclone Chapala fell in southern coastal and interior areas of Yemen on 2-3 November. The torrential rains which far exceeded the annual average rainfall for the entire year caused flooding and damage. As a result, ecological conditions are likely to become favourable for locusts and remain so until at least next spring.
In the Horn of Africa, above-average rains associated with a very strong El Nino are predicted to fall over northern Somalia during this winter and next spring. If so, ecological conditions will become favourable for breeding on the northwest coast and the Somali plateau.
In the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea, seasonal rains commenced in early October, which is slightly earlier than normal. As a result, ecological conditions will become favourable for breeding in coastal areas of Sudan, northern Eritrea, southeast Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen and, if the rains continue, there would be sufficient time for two generations of breeding to occur this year.