Following on from our November 2019 e-news article, ‘Locus Levels Low’, the Department of Agriculture has released their January 2020 Locust Bulletin which, as expected, reports that locust population levels remain very low over eastern Australia due to ongoing drought conditions and high temperatures.
No surveys were conducted in SA during December for the Australian plague locust (APL) as no significant rain fell in the month and grassland habitats in inland SA remained very dry.
The survey reports that the January to March outlook is for very low population densities of APL to continue in inland eastern Australia. Ongoing drought and poor habitat conditions provide limited opportunities for successful locust breeding. There is insufficient time for more than one complete generation before autumn and multiple generations would be necessary for populations to increase to widespread high densities this season.
The Bureau of Meteorology seasonal outlook indicates that below average rainfall and above average temperatures are likely to continue over coming months. Habitats in most regions are therefore likely to remain unfavourable with only limited breeding possible.
If you do find a locust, report it as soon as possible to your state biosecurity department or to the Australian Plague Locust Commission on 1800 635 962, or via email at email@example.com, or via the website at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/aplc.