Spring breeding expected as situation improves on the Red Sea coast
The Desert Locust situation is improving along both sides of the Red Sea as a result of intensive control operations that treated more than 80 000 ha during March and due to drying conditions.
Nevertheless, second-generation breeding is still in progress in some coastal areas of Sudan and Saudi Arabia where ecological conditions remain favourable, causing additional hopper and adult groups, bands and a few swarms to form. Some adult groups moved to the spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia and laid eggs in March.
In southwest Asia, adult groups and a few swarms are breeding on the southern coast of Iran and hatching commenced at the end of March. Adult groups and at least one swarm appeared in adjacent areas of southwest Pakistan in mid-March where they laid eggs. Control operations were in progress in both countries.
During April, locust numbers will decline along both sides of the Red Sea but will increase in the spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia, and coastal and interior areas of southern Iran and southwest Pakistan where hatching will occur and hopper groups and bands are expected to form. Some of these could eventually form adult groups and perhaps a few small swarms by late May. Adults groups may also appear in the Nile Valley in northern Sudan and breed near cropping areas.
In northwest Africa, smaller-scale breeding will occur in areas south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria that receive rainfall.
All countries should remain vigilant and undertake control operations whenever necessary.