Growing desert locust threat in Sahel

Locust Watch

Breeding underway in northern Niger and Mali

Desert Locust adults have been laying eggs in northern Niger for the past two weeks. Most of the laying that has been detected so far by ground surveys has occurred in the southeast of the Air Mountains, in pasture areas between Agadez and Tanout, and on the southern part of the Tamesna Plains near Tassara. Groups of mature adults are present in Tamesna between In Gall and Tegguidda and in the southeast of the Air Mountains. Hatching has already occurred in a few places between Tassara and Tanout where isolated first to third instar hoppers are present. Additional survey teams are being mobilised to central and northern areas in the coming days.

In northern Mali, the locust situation and expected developments are likely to be similar to Niger but information is scarce as national ground teams cannot access the area due to insecurity. Nevertheless, local teams may be able to undertake some limited surveys. So far, groups of mature adults were seen between Gao and Kidal, and adults were maturing in the Tilemsi Valley west of the Adrar des Iforas. In central Mali, ground surveys are in progress north of Segou and east of Mopti where areas are secure and accessible. So far, no locusts have been reported.

In Chad, ground surveys are in progress in the west (Kanem) and east (Abeche to Adre) where only low numbers of locusts have been detected.

In Mauritania, ground surveys are in progress in the summer breeding areas in the south. So far, low numbers of mature adults are present and laying eggs, mainly near Nema.

The situation remains potentially dangerous as more egg-laying and hatching are expected in the coming weeks.

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