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Satellite Information for Locust Forecasting

Locust monitoring using satellites

Currently available satellites cannot directly detect individual locusts or locust swarms. Some highly sophisticated satellites used by the military and forthcoming civilian satellites could potentially detect locust swarms but these images are not yet available. Current satellites can provide a continuous overview of ecological conditions, such as rain and vegetation development, which are important factors for monitoring Desert Locust habitats and forecasting locust development.

Available satellites

There are a number of satellites which can aid the monitoring of rainfall and locust habitats from space, including METEOSAT, NOAA and SPOT4. The temporal, spectral and spatial characteristics of the sensor instruments onboard these satellites provide a wide range of sensing capabilities.

Current research and progress

Research is currently underway at the Migratory Pests Group in collaboration with affected countries and partner institutes to use SPOT4-VEGETATION 10-day composite images to monitor vegetation status in terms of greenness, percentage of vegetation cover and moisture content. A series of image products are currently developed and used by the Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS).

Contact: Pietro Ceccato

Image products

A service provided by the Migratory Pests Group to monitor the world-wide locust situation and keep
affected countries and donors informed of expected developments.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, Italy

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