Conclusions

A Decision Support System on ARC/INFO GIS was developed to meet the need of locust forecasting requirements and operational use in the republic of Kazakhstan in the locust season. Various needs for the user has been taken into account by introducing ergonomics in the user interface design as well as coupling of analytical tools for efficient and meaningful outputs generation. The DSS developed can handle complex spatio-temporal configuration of locust events, generation of locust sighting as spatial database, cohort distribution based upon known sampling areas and utilization of internet downloaded daily weather data for locust life stage development. As the DSS uses wide variety of cartographic and remotely sensed sources, provision is kept for handling of raster, vector and descriptive data as well as comparison of multiple raster and vector maps for analysis of the relationships between locust events and bio-climate. Introduction of the mobile GIS and Global Positional System in surveying techniques will improve the accuracy and timely availability of data as model input to forecast in near real time.

One of the important aspects of locust data analysis for near real time forecasting depends upon the dissemination of field information to the center where data analysis is performed. Data on distribution, density and life stages of locust as well as habitat condition could be collected using GPS and palmtop computer and sent to GIS based DSS located at the headquarter where further analysis is performed through high frequency radio modems. The survey data could be converted to GIS format point features for visualization and used as input to run spatially explicit development models for predicting critical events at various life stages. The next important aspect is to combine operationally the outputs of various environmental models in relation to locust biology and critical events of life cycle like DYMEX professional model of Australia. A climate matching function can be used in the absence of any knowledge of the distribution of a species. This option can help the user to directly compare the temperature, rainfall and relative humidity of a given location with any number of other locations. It will provide a method of identifying sites with similar climates for assessing risk zones. Species-specific models could be developed after availability of detailed ground based information for event modeling. In the Life Cycle Builder module of Geo-LIMIS could be enhanced for calculating the values of its output variables at each time step. The sub-modules could be connected to an appropriate output variable of another or the same module by linking each of their input variables. During simulation, the value of that output variable can be used as the input value. Scope is there that model designer can configure most modules to adapt them for required task. Geo-LIMIS with little change in the input layers and habit suitability criteria interfaced with life stage builder specific to the species concerned could be used for modeling other exotic insect pests and near real time forecasting for ground surveillance and control strategy.

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