Situation improving on the Red Sea coast but potential threat remains
The Desert Locust situation began improving in late February on the Red Sea coast as infestations declined in some areas due to intensive control operations that treated 80 000 ha in February and because of drying conditions.
Control operations are still in progress against second-generation breeding along the Red Sea coast in Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, Eritrea. There is a potential risk that any infestations that are not detected or could not be treated will form additional groups of hoppers and adults, bands and some small swarms as vegetation dries out further in March. Most of these populations are expected to migrate to spring breeding areas in the interior of Saudi Arabia while some could move to the Nile Valley in northern Sudan. As one generation of breeding is expected to occur in these areas between March and June, intensive monitoring and control efforts will be required by the affected countries.
Breeding continues in eastern Yemen on the edge of the Empty Quarter in areas that received good rain from cyclones Mekunu and Luban in May and October respectively. From there, adults and at least one swarm have moved to cropping areas in Wadi Hadhramaut. As vegetation dries out in eastern Yemen, additional populations are expected to arrive in Hadhramaut and central interior areas, and breed if rains fall.
In southwest Asia, control operations are in progress against adult groups and a few small swarms that were laying eggs along the southern coast of Iran in February. Breeding will continue, causing locust numbers to increase during the spring.
The situation remains calm in West and Northwest Africa.