Earth Observation Satellites For Locust Surveillance

Desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria is a type of grasshopper that exhibits density-dependent polyphensim. The gregarious phase occurs when huge swarms of winged adult locusts embark on spectacular mass travel, during which they are voracious and destructive, leading to famines and threats to food security. Life cycle events of locust include egg, hopper, and adult stages which are highly influenced by environmental conditions. These conditions include soil moisture, temperature, rainfall, wind vectors, and vegetation status. Earth observation (EO) satellites provide ample opportunities in integrating all remote sensing data for early detection of locust and also to predict the swarm trajectory. This scientific communication articulates the environmental indicators that are relevant to various stages of locust’s life-cycle and related EO data sets that are useful to monitor environmental indicators.

The authors are Head of department- geospatial applications, scientist and senior scientist, from the Regional Remote Sensing Centre–West, NRSC/ISRO, Jodhpur and senior scientist from the Regional Centres Hq., National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad, respectively. The article should be cited as Dandabathulu S., 2020. Earth observation satellites for locust surveillance, Geography and You online. Available at