Desert Locust situation update: More swarms form in East Africa

An increasing number of second-generation immature swarms continue to form in northwest Kenya. The bulk of swarm formation is likely to occur during the next two weeks followed by a decline in July.

Before migration, swarms will remain for a short time during which there is a considerable threat to crops and pastures in Turkana and Marsabit counties. Thereafter, the swarms are expected to migrate northwards to the summer breeding areas in Sudan and Ethiopia where they will mature quickly and lay eggs. Some of the swarms will take about a week to cross South Sudan to reach South Kordofan and South Darfur while other swarms will move north to east and northern Ethiopia. Any swarms in northern Somalia can migrate across the Indian Ocean to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.

In Sudan, some rains have fallen so far in South Darfur and South Kordofan, and no locusts are present except for isolated adults in the Nile Valley. If the rains are not sufficient, then the invading swarms are likely to continue to eastern Chad and migrate westwards across the Sahel of West Africa. This threat should decline progressively during the next four weeks.

In Ethiopia, control operations continue against hopper bands and new swarms that are forming in the east and northeast. Smaller operations are underway in central and northern Somalia.

In Saudi Arabia, control operations are in progress against hopper bands in the southwest near Najran and adult groups in the Asir Mountains.

In Yemen, hopper bands are present in the interior and highly mobile swarms are moving in highland and southern coastal areas. Some of these swarms are likely to migrate to northern Somalia and northeast Ethiopia.

In Oman, adult groups and a few swarms laid eggs in the Dhofar Hills of the south.

In Southwest Asia, breeding has ended in southern Iran and southwest Pakistan where locust infestations are rapidly declining as a result of control operations and migration to the summer breeding areas along the Indo-Pakistan border. Spring-bred adult groups and swarms continue to appear along the Indo-Pakistan border, many of which have continued further east into several states of northern India because the monsoon rains have not yet arrived in Rajasthan, India. These infestations are expected to return to Rajasthan with the onset of the rains to rapidly mature and lay eggs. Control operations continue in both countries.

Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Pakistan, and India should remain on high alert during the next four weeks. West Africa should continue to take anticipatory measures and preparatory steps.

(Source: FAO)

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