In NSW Spring surveys by Australian Plague Locust Commission staff identified low density adults in most regions. The outlook for summer is for population densities to remain generally low in all regions of inland eastern Australia. Localised breeding is likely to occur in habitat areas that receive heavy rainfall in December and this will result in small regional population increases. NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) continue to plan and prepare for any potential plague locust control program.
Australian Plague Locust: Locust densities remained low in all surveyed regions during November. Despite rainfall producing more favourable habitat conditions in many areas, only low density adults and very few nymphs were identified during surveys. Locust numbers remained low in the Central West, Northwest Plains, Riverina and Far Southwest of New South Wales, South Central and Southwest Queensland, and in the Far North, Northeast and Northwest regions of South Australia. Some low density egg laying is likely to have occurred during late October and November, so moderate increases in regional population from a very low base level are likely during December and January including in New South Wales.
Spur-throated Locust: There is a widespread low density population of adults in inland Queensland. There is a low risk of swarms developing in or migrating to agricultural regions during summer. The likelihood of an overall population increase during 2017-18 will depend on the frequency and persistence of rainfall during the northern wet season. Surveys in November identified consistent Isolated–Scattered density adults in Southwest and South Central Queensland. Occasional adults were recorded in the Far North and Northwest regions of South Australia and in Far West New South Wales. There is a low probability of significant impact to agriculture in NSW.
Migratory Locust: Low numbers of this species were identified at one location near Taroom in South Central Queensland during November. Small gregarious populations could develop in localised areas of these regions during 2017-18. However, there is currently a low risk of a widespread infestation developing during summer. These populations are unlikely to result in any issues for NSW.
Further information on the current situation is accessible from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.