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Desert Locust Joint Survey in the Spring Breeding Areas of the I. R. Iran and Pakistan - April 2018

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Executive Summary

The idea of I.R. Iran/Pakistan Joint Survey during the spring breeding season of the Desert Locust originates from the fact that both countries possess significant areas within their territories that are prone to Desert Locust breeding during the spring season. Since 1995, both countries have been conducting joint surveys under the auspices of the FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC). The 30th Session of SWAC held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 12–14 December 2016 reconfirmed the importance of this annual activity either to be conducted jointly by locust experts from I.R. Iran and Pakistan (Option A) or, if the security situation in Baluchistan, Pakistan is not good, as separate simultaneous surveys in the respective territories of each country by their own team members (Option B).

During 2018, again Option B was implemented and the joint survey was carried out simultaneously in both countries on both sides of the common border from 5 to 25 April 2018 in I.R. Iran and from 3 to 25 April 2018 in Pakistan as per the approved itinerary. At the end of survey, the National Locust Unit Heads and Survey Team Leaders of both countries met in Tehran on 27–28 April 2018 to finalize the draj of the joint survey report.

In I.R. Iran, the survey consisted of a total of 137 stops that covered an es;mated sampling area of 18 440 ha along a route of 6 928 km in the southeast. In Pakistan, a total of 181 stops were made, covering 22 450 ha within a distance of 8 652 km in Baluchistan. In all, 15 580 km were travelled on the ground during which 318 stops were surveyed, sampling an area of 40 890 ha along both sides of the border. The ecological conditions were found slightly favorable for locust activity on the Iranian side due to recent rainfall in March 2018 while it was comparatively unfavorable in Baluchistan, Pakistan due to dry environment. A few solitarious adults were observed at three places in I.R. Iran while no locusts were detected in Pakistan during the survey.