Forecasting Locust Risks

Organizer: Cyril Piou

Locusts stay among the most feared plagues affecting agriculture and livelihood of millions of people worldwide. Forecasting the risk of outbreaks and plagues is the core of the preventive management strategy of locust control. Old methods and new technologies are used to help preventing locust outbreaks with different successes.

Locusts stay among the most feared plagues affecting Field surveys and ecological understanding of the population dynamics are advocated and absolutely necessary. However, remote sensing, geographical information systems, decision support systems, ecological models and statistical models are nowadays complementing, orienting and eventually justifying the monitoring and preventive controls. This symposium proposes to have the opportunity to get an overview of current practices and future outlooks of research to be conducted to improve the forecast of risks of locust outbreaks in different places of the world.

Participants will be challenged in discussing the following questions among others:

  • What do we propose as forecasts?
  • What do the users/managers need?
  • How could we give a quality assessment of forecasts?
  • When no forecasts exist, where should we start?
  • Is forecasting without ground surveys possible?
  • What are the relative advantages/pitfalls of statistical vs. mechanistic forecasting models?
  • What improvements are still to be done in remote sensing?
  • Could drone technology help in the forecasts?
  • What is the potential of including “citizen data” in forecasting tools?

A review paper is projected to be written in cooperation with the participants of this symposium to submit to the Journal of Orthoptera Research.