Current Locust Situation and News
Locust Situation December 2013
This page summarises the known distribution of locusts during November 2013 and provides a brief outlook to February 2014. The next Locust Bulletin will be produced in January 2014.
- Australian Plague Locust situation
- Spur–throated Locust situation
- Migratory Locust situation
- Map of forecasting regions
Adult populations remained at generally low densities in all surveyed regions during November. In Central West New South Wales, residual medium and band density nymphs were reported in a few locations by landholders in early November. The few small swarms of fledgling adults that formed at the end of October produced only a small detected increase in the regional adult population level. Reports came from the Dubbo–Gilgandra and Dunedoo-Goolma areas. Rainfall during November was largely restricted to eastern regions of the state. Surveys of the Northwest and Far West regions of New South Wales identified low density adults in the Narrabri–Moree and White Cliffs–Bourke areas.
In Queensland, surveys of the Central West, Southwest, South Central and Central Highlands regions identified low density adults, along with occasional nymphs in the Rolleston–Injune area. South Central Queensland and the Central Highlands received moderate-heavy rainfall in several events during November, and in some locations the monthly total rainfall was over 100 mm. There was localised heavy summer storm rainfall in tropical north Queensland in late November.
Surveys in part of the Northeast and southern Far North regions of South Australia identified only occasional adult locusts and no nymphs were detected. No surveys have been conducted in Victoria. The Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries identified low density nymphs at one location near the Grampians in the Wimmera district in late November.
In Western Australia, a number of swarms were reported in early November in several eastern shires of the Central Agricultural region, following fledging of the spring generation of nymphs. Adult numbers are reported to have declined during November.
The locust outlook for summer is for low density populations to be maintained in most regions of eastern Australia. The seasonal outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology in November is for a low probability of exceeding median total rainfall over the next three months, particularly in Queensland. Given the rainfall outlook and the current low locust population levels, the risk of any widespread gregarious infestation developing in early 2014 is low. Vegetation remains too dry in most inland habitat areas to allow any significant egg maturation and laying. However, areas in the South Central and the Central Highlands regions of Queensland have received sufficient rainfall to provide soil and vegetation conditions for locust breeding and a moderate increase from the current low levels is possible during summer. Further heavy rainfall events in these areas could produce regional population increases, but these are unlikely to result in widespread infestations in agricultural regions during autumn.
There is a widespread low density adult population in most regions of inland Queensland. There was no detectable change in the overall numbers of adults during November and no indication that breeding had commenced. Surveys identified low adult numbers in the Central West, Southwest and South Central regions of Queensland. Consistent Isolated density adults were identified throughout the Central Highlands region in late November. Only occasional adults have been identified in South Central Queensland and in Far West New South Wales.Rainfall in the Central Highlands, Gulf and South Central Queensland regions during November is likely to initiate breeding and some egg laying during December. In the absence of further rainfall during nymphal development there could be high rates of mortality before fledging. Adults often migrate during spring and commence breeding at the start of the northern wet season. The outlook presents a low risk of a significant infestation developing during 2014.
Surveys during November identified occasional adults in the Central Highlands region of Queensland, but none have been detected in other regions.
Under favourable conditions, this species is capable of continuous breeding and of producing several generations in a year, which can lead to the development of infestations. Gregarisation can occur at local scales, often associated with summer cropping in Queensland, and can therefore be difficult to detect by general surveys. No reports of this species have been received and the risk of a widespread infestation developing in 2014 remains low.
4 December 2013
Circles indicate locations of APLC light traps.
Shaded areas indicate potential locusts habitat areas.
06 Dec 2013