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A brief history of the human war on mosquitoes...and why we are losing it again

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by DavidBrown, 15 Mar 2016.

  1. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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  2. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Good article. Thanks for posting.

    I would have liked to hear more about a genetically modified mosquito that produces sterile offspring. I am sure I read about some being released in Brazil.

    Also, I wonder what the environmental impact of eradicating mosquitoes is. Would this have a domino effect if some species no longer have a food source of mosquitoes?
     
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    It's probably pertinent to point out that they are not targeting all mosquitos, only the ones that carry these nasty diseases. That's one of the benefits of the genetically modified strains - they target one specific species. A lot of the native mosquitos may avoid human habitation - the reason the ones carrying yellow fever and dengue are so bad is because they have adapted to human developed areas.

    In the article I found it interesting to discover just who Walter Reed was.

    :p

    Hix
     
  4. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe this technique is not new and has already been used before...
     
  5. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, perhaps with limited success.
     
  6. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if this would lead to co-extinction (is that the term?) where species whose main source of food is that particular species of mosquito will also go extinct.
     
  7. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    I can't say for any certainty but imagine if the target mosquito becomes extinct the only other extinctions as a result will be host-specific parasites (i.e. parasites that are only found on that species). Things that prey on mosquitos as food usually aren't that picky with their mozzies, and eat other insects too.

    :p

    Hix
     
  8. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    And probably some other mosquitoes will (at least partly) fill up the empty niche very quickly and it is on a very large time scale only waiting before new diseases pop up...