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Desert Locust situation update 13 August 2019

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Locusts increasing in Indo-Pakistan and Yemen

The Desert Locust situation continues to remain serious along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan**** border and in Yemen.

In India, breeding continues in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Bikaner districts of western Rajasthan where mature swarms are laying eggs and new hatching is causing small groups of gregarious hoppers to form. Ground control operations are underway that have prevented large numbers of hopper bands from forming so far.

In Pakistan, a similar situation is in progress in some of the adjacent areas of Cholistan, Nara and Tharparkar deserts where groups of adults are laying eggs and groups of hoppers and immature adults are forming. Ground control operations are underway.

In both countries, further hatching is expected as well as fledging and the possible formation of immature adult groups that could mature and start to lay eggs next month because of recent normal to above-normal rainfall in breeding areas along both sides of the border.

In Yemen, breeding continues in the interior near Bayhan and on the southern coast near Lahij where hopper bands and groups of adults have been reported. Several immature swarms were seen flying recently south of Marib and Al Baydha. So far, only very limited survey and control operations could be carried out this month. More breeding is expected to occur in interior and coastal areas where good rains have fallen. This will cause a further increase in locust numbers, including the formation of hopper bands and swarms.

In Saudi Arabia, groups of immature adults were seen in the southern Asir Mountains from the Yemen border and Najran northwards to Al Baha. Ground control operations are in progress. There remains a risk of additional locust groups and perhaps a few small swarms arriving from adjacent areas of Yemen.

In northern Somalia, late instar hoppers bands formed during the first week of August in a few places on the northwest coast near Djibouti. Most of these infestations have probably fledged by now and the immature adults are likely to form groups that will move to areas of recent rainfall along the railway in eastern Ethiopia where one group has already been reported.

In Ethiopia, small-scale breeding is in progress in the northeast near Chifra in the Afar and Amhara regions where young solitarious hoppers are present. Mainly scattered solitarious and gregarious adults are present along the railway area in the east between Dire Dawa and Djibouti. Small-scale breeding will occur in these areas and hatching is expected to start next week.

In Sudan, an increasing number of solitarious adults have been found in the summer breeding areas of the interior (North Kordofan, White Nile, Khartoum and Kassala states). Small-scale breeding will occur in areas that recently received good rains and hatching will start shortly, causing locust numbers to increase slightly.

In the Western Region, small-scale breeding was reported in eastern Chad, is likely to be in progress in northern Niger and Mali, and should start shortly in southern and southeastern Mauritania. No significant developments are likely.