Locusts

The Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is an insect whose distribution area extends from West Africa to India.

During invasion periods, adults form swarms that can fly or be carried by wind over great distances. These swarms can wipe out crops located hundreds of kilometers from their places of origin and create starvation conditions in regions that are already financially challenged. The Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) collaborates with the National Locust Units to collate, summarize and analyze field data (e.g., vegetation, rainfall, locust and control information) in order to assess the current situation and forecast the scale, timing and location of locust breeding and migration (more information). The warnings, assessments and forecasts produced by DLIS are used by affected countries to plan survey and control operations and by the international donor community to target assistance, especially during emergencies.

In collaboration with DLIS, IRI is developing products to estimate ecological conditions and rainfall events in the Desert Locust recession area. The maps and analysis products below illustrate recent climate conditions, such as rainfall and vegetation, which provide ideal breeding conditions for the locusts. Additional information may be included in the future and we welcome the opportunity to work with others on the further development of these products.

    A rainfall monitoring product based on daily rainfall estimates from the Climate Prediction Center.
    Accumulated rainfall during the most recent month based on estimates from the Climate Prediction Center Morphing technique.
    Accumulated rainfall during the most recent dekad based on estimates from the Climate Prediction Center Morphing technique.
    A critical factor in Locust control is areas which have recently transitioned from desert to vegetation. Greenness is the number of dekads (approximately ten days) passed since vegetation onset. Thus greenness is a measure which highlights this critical transition.
    The images on this page are derived from The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor at 250m spatial resolution provided every 16 days. This interface facilitates access to estimates of vegetation from MODIS images provided by the United States Geological Survey. Images are available for West Africa, East Africa, and Southwest Asia.
    Satellite Imagery for Vegetation, Dust Storms, Fires, Drought, Smoke Plumes, Ash Plumes, Air Quality, Severe Storms, and Floods.