East Maui project hopes mosquito v. mosquito mating battle will save endangered birds

K. Cerizo,  MAUINOW,  2022.

In the latest effort to protect endangered forest birds in East Maui, state and federal officials are gearing up for a mosquito versus mosquito mating mission. If successful, the project would cut the non-native wild mosquito population by 90%, according to an environmental study released last week. These mosquitos are the only insects that spur avian malaria, which threatens and kills important East Maui forest birds. The National Park Service and state Department of Land and Natural Resources are proposing to release lab-raised incompatible male mosquitoes via drones to the existing wild population. If the incompatible male and the wild female mate, the two are unproductive and populations will be suppressed, leading to fewer cases of avian malaria and other mosquito-related diseases that impact birds.

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