Desert Locust population dynamics
Desert Locust populations are normally present during the summer period in the desert areas of western India, primarily in western Rajasthan and to a lesser extent in Gujarat, roughly from about June to November. The initiation of summer breeding coincides with the arrival of the southwest monsoon, which is normally during the second half of June or in early July. Therefore, ecological conditions are often favourable for locust breeding from July to about September or October, depending on the duration and intensity of the monsoon. Thereafter, vegetation dries out in the absence of rainfall. During the remainder of the year (December to May), dry and unfavourable conditions prevail and temperatures, especially during the night, are low.
National Locust Programme
Locust survey and control operations are the responsibility of the Locust Warning Organization (LWO) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (PPQS). LWO maintains two headquarters, one in Faridabad (near New Delhi) for administrative duties and one in Jodhpur (Rajasthan) for technical operations. LWO teams actively survey Desert Locust habitats every month of the year from four circle offices (Bikaner, Barmer, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer). In the past, each office supervised a number of outposts within its area of coverage. Each team uses eLocust2 to record and transmit data via satellite to the Locust Information Office at the Jodhpur field headquarters. During the summer, a monthly meeting is held on the Indo-Pakistan border for locust officers from India and Pakistan to exchange information on the current locust situation. The LWO is the oldest national locust monitoring system in any locust-affected country, dating from the pre-partition British colonial period.