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David Y Iggy | DLNR Press Release – Mosquito surveys on the way to help protect birds from disease

DLNR Press Launch – Mosquito surveys on the way in which to assist shield birds from illness

Posted on November 7, 2022 in The department’s latest newsAnd the newsroom

(PU’U MAKA’ALA Nature Reserve) – This towering nature reserve is considered one of six websites on the island of Hawaii the place groups from the DLNR Division of Forest and Wildlife (DOFAW) and Hawaii Pacific College Collaborative Research Unit (PCSU) are trapping mosquitoes to detect The presence of avian malaria.

It is a illness that’s about to wipe out, for good, a minimum of two species of native Hawaiian honey, presumably throughout the subsequent two years, with many extra in danger inside 5 years.

Inhabitants surveys will assist associate organizations concerned in Birds, not mosquitoes The initiative, of which DLNR is a member, identifies the very best place to begin utilizing male mosquitoes which are incompatible with wild feminine mosquitoes to attempt to remove their capability to contaminate birds with lethal illness. These discipline surveys will present details about the presence of the illness and will probably be a part of the planning course of for a possible mosquito management mission, which may also embody an environmental evaluation.

On a typical wet morning in Pu’u Maka’ala, Cara Thow, DOFAW/PCSU’s Superintendent of Ornithology Analysis on the Island of Hawaii, and her group of three start inspecting mosquito traps hanging throughout the damp, algae forest flooring.

“We’re solely considering feminine southern home mosquitoes, as a result of they’re the most important villains within the avian malaria story,” Thao defined. “As soon as a feminine has bitten a delicate fowl, she has a 90% probability of dying.”

One of these mosquito, like all different Hawaiian species, just isn’t indigenous and got here aboard ships or water shops within the early 1800s. Hawaiian honey crops developed within the absence of mosquito-borne illnesses equivalent to avian malaria and had little or no pure immunity. Area research of potential future tasks to cut back their numbers within the forests on the island of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai the place avian malaria is frequent have now begun. Because of warming attributable to local weather change, mosquitoes have moved larger and better to the birds’ native habitats, the rationale trapping happens in areas between 4,000 and 6,000 ft in elevation.

Mixture groups use two varieties of traps. One is supplied with a carbon dioxide bait and is designed to usher in feminine mosquitoes in search of a blood meal. The second, generally known as a lamb entice, attracts bugs with a small container of stagnant, foul-smelling water. Each traps finally catch mosquitoes in nets.

“Gravity traps are a bit tough as a result of there may be loads of room for mosquitoes to maneuver round,” Tho mentioned. So, utilizing tubes and plastic tubes, members of the survey group vacuum (suction) the bugs out of the nets, the place they’re then positioned in a small bottle of ethanol for safekeeping.

The collected mosquitoes are then despatched to considered one of two laboratories: Northern Arizona College or the USGS laboratory in Honolulu, the place additional work will probably be finished to detect the presence of malaria.

On non-collecting days, the sphere group separates the birds and performs blood checks on them to broaden the info accessible to assist make administration selections on the place to launch non-compliant males in any case permits and regulatory approvals.

Tho added, “The truth is that mosquitoes usually are not native to Hawaii, they haven’t any position within the atmosphere that different bugs can’t fill, and due to this fact there is no such thing as a draw back to eliminating them. What’s being proposed (introducing males who’re incompatible with wild females) won’t remove them.” Completely, however hopefully it eliminates populations sufficient to offer these native endangered birds some respiration area.”

No lab outcomes accessible but. Greater than 200 mosquitoes have been despatched to laboratories for testing since assortment started final November. The bulk got here from the Pu’u Maka’ala District Nature Reserve, which is situated at an elevation degree of 4,000 ft.

Thao says monitoring ought to proceed even after the incompatible insect approach has been carried out, to find out if the launched incompatible mosquitoes are sufficient to fend off populations.

“The whole group (Kupu members and RCUH/PSCSU workers) are completely proud to be part of this work,” Tho added. “It’s a nice honor to be engaged on options that imply these birds are persistent and our kids and grandchildren can get pleasure from them sooner or later. It actually helps to be part of it.”

That is the third version detailing the preliminary work in progress forward of potential mosquito management tasks on the island of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai. See hyperlinks to earlier variations beneath.

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(All photographs/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD Video – Mosquito Assortment on the Island of Hawaii, Media Clips (July 21, 2022):


Images – Mosquito assortment on the island of Hawaii (July 21, 2022):


Earlier variations –

Maui mosquito survey groups give voice to the unvoiced (10-13-22):


Mosquito survey groups on Kauai are on the forefront of detecting avian malaria (9-7-22):


Media contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Supervisor

Hawaii Division of Land and Pure Assets

[email protected]

Ryan Aguilar
Communication Specialist
Hawaii Division of Land and Pure Assets
[email protected]

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