Desert Locust situation update – 13 July 2020

New reports of Desert Locust swarms further east in northern Somalia suggest that migration from northeast Somalia across the Indian Ocean to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border could be imminent. More swarms are likely to form in northern Somalia in the coming weeks. India and Pakistan have been warned accordingly and they continue to take preparatory actions. During the migration, a few swarms could briefly appear in transit along the eastern coast of Oman.
SOUTHWEST ASIA. Summer breeding has commenced along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border where numerous swarms are present mainly in Rajasthan, India. Hatching and band formation will increase during this month in Rajasthan and northern Gujarat, India as well as adjacent areas of Tharparkar, Nara and Cholistan deserts in Pakistan. A few swarms continue to be seen further east in Uttar Pradesh, India and at least one swarmlet reached the central plains of Nepal on 12 July where they are likely to disperse or return towards Rajasthan without causing significant damage or breeding. A few residual populations remain in the spring breeding areas of southeast Iran and southwest Pakistan.
EAST AFRICA. Immature swarms are present in northwest Kenya where aerial control operations continue. One swarm crossed into adjacent areas of northeast Uganda near Moroto where it was treated by air on 10 July. Some of the swarms in Kenya are expected to migrate northwards across South Sudan to the summer breeding areas in Sudan where good rains have fallen so far this month in Kordofan and Darfur that will give rise to favourable conditions for locust survival and breeding. Upon arrival, the swarms should quickly mature and lay eggs. Ground surveys are in progress in Sudan. Other swarms from northwest Kenya are likely to migrate north to Ethiopia where they will disperse in the north and east to mature and breed. This, together with current infestations, are likely to cause a further increase in locust populations in Ethiopia. Some swarms could appear in the western lowlands of Eritrea and breed.
ARABIAN PENINSULA. Breeding continues in the interior and on the eastern coast near Al Ghaydah that has caused more hopper bands and swarms to form. Swarms were seen in the highlands near Sada’a and Sana’a and in the south near Zinjibar. Breeding could also occur in areas of recent rainfall on the Red Sea coast. In Saudi Arabia, an immature swarm was seen in the Asir Mountains of the southwest. In southern Oman, breeding is in progress on the coast near Salalah and hopper groups are forming.
WEST AFRICA. The threat of an invasion by swarms that are expected to arrive in Sudan from northwest Kenya is declining because the swarms have not left Kenya yet and good rains have fallen in the summer breeding areas of Sudan. In this case, any swarms that do arrive in Sudan are more likely to stay rather than continuing further west to Chad and beyond. Ground teams are monitoring the situation closely in Chad.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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