SWARMS ARRIVING IN NORTHEAST ETHIOPIA
OVERVIEW. Intensive aerial control operations continue against numerous immature swarms in northwest Somalia. Some of the swarms have started to migrate as there has been an increase in sightings and cross-border movements during the past few days in southern Djibouti, eastern Ethiopia and in the Afar region of northeast Ethiopia along the eastern escarpment of the Amhara Highlands. More swarms are expected to appear in Afar during the coming week and some may reach the northern highlands where they may continue to the summer breeding areas in the interior of Sudan. A few swarms could also arrive in Afar from Yemen.
WHY IT MATTERS. The effectiveness of current survey and control operations in northern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia will influence the magnitude of swarm migration to northeast Ethiopia. So far, migration has been limited but more swarms are likely to arrive this month, mature and lay eggs. The scale of the migration as well as the timing and location of July–September rainfall, which is predicted to be higher than normal this year, will determine the level of breeding this summer in the Afar region.
CONTEXT. Important infestations remain in the Horn of Africa while other regions are calm.\ – SOMALIA. Mainly aerial control operations continue against immature swarms and the few remaining late instar hopper bands on the escarpment and plateau in the northwest (Somaliland); no locust seen during surveys in the northeast (Puntland).\ – ETHIOPIA. A few immature swarms have arrived in Afar along the eastern escarpment of the Amhara highlands and one swarm continued into the highlands; other swarms are forming and appearing in the railway area near Ayasha where a few late instar hoppers bands are still present.\ – DJIBOUTI. More immature swarms have been seen recently in the south coming from local breeding as well as adjacent areas of Somalia and Ethiopia.\ – YEMEN. A few immature swarms persist in the highlands north of Sana’a; scattered adults are present in the interior where limited breeding is underway.\ – SW ASIA. No locusts seen during recent surveys in Iran, Pakistan and India.
TAKEAWAY. Current field operations should be upscaled in northeast Ethiopia and maintained in eastern Ethiopia, northern Somalia, Djibouti and Yemen.