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            A threat from the desert

            The Desert Locust

            Desert Locusts are ravenous eaters. Usually found in semi-arid and arid deserts of East Africa, the Near East and South-West Asia, they can form large swarms and pose a major threat to food security and local livelihoods.

            But what are Desert Locusts and what makes them such a threat exactly?

            Let’s get up close and personal with this potentially devastating pest.

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            They’re a growing problem

            Every new generation can be up to 20 times larger than the previous one leading to an exponential increase in numbers.

            To put it into perspective...

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            They’re a growing problem

            Every new generation can be up to 20 times larger than the previous one leading to an exponential increase in numbers.

            To put it into perspective...

            Scroll down to continue

            After three months

            20x more Desert Locusts

            After six months

            400x more Desert Locusts

            After nine months

            8,000x more Desert Locusts

            They’re ravenous eaters

            A Desert Locust can consume its own weight in food every day. They target crops and vegetation used to feed people and animals.

            A one square kilometre swarm can contain up to 80 million adults and has the capacity to consume the same amount of food as 35,000 people in just one day.

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            They’re ravenous eaters

            A Desert Locust can consume its own weight in food every day. They target crops and vegetation used to feed people and animals.

            A one square kilometre swarm can contain up to 80 million adults and has the capacity to consume the same amount of food as 35,000 people in just one day.

            Scroll down to continue

            They can travel vast distances

            Swarms of Desert Locusts can spread with alarming speed. They can fly up to nine or 10 hours each day, consuming crops and forage as they go!

            They can travel up to 1,050 km in one week. That’s approximately the same distance as between Rome and Paris, Mumbai and Delhi, or San Francisco and Seattle.

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            map
            Paris
            Rome

            They can travel vast distances

            Swarms of Desert Locusts can spread with alarming speed. They can fly up to nine or 10 hours each day, consuming crops and forage as they go!

            They can travel up to 1,000 km in one week. That’s approximately the same distance as between Rome and Paris, Mumbai and Delhi, or San Francisco and Seattle.

            Scroll down to continue





            Confronting the threat

            FAO monitors the global Desert Locust situation closely. We provide early warnings and alerts on the timing, scale and location of invasions and breeding.

            This early warning is vital. Think of it like putting out a forest fire – it’s much easier to stamp out the issue early before it gets out of hand. The longer the fire rages, the more difficult it is to control.

            All locust-affected countries provide data to FAO. We analyze this information in conjunction with weather and habitat data and satellite imagery to assess the current locust situation.

            FAO also undertakes field assessment missions, strengthens national capacity, coordinates survey and control operations as well as emergency assistance during locust upsurges and plagues.

            Want to know more about FAO’s role in Desert Locust management? Follow the latest Desert Locust movements, get the latest news and more at FAO’s Desert Locust website.














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