Birds, Not Mosquitoes
- I Ola Nā Manu Nahele - So The Forest Birds Thrive -
'anianiau on 'ōhiʻa © Jim Denny
Birds, Not Mosquitoes is a multi-agency partnership, urgently working to save the native honeycreepers of Hawaiʻi from extinction. Our plan is to use common, naturally-occurring bacteria as a "mosquito birth control" to suppress mosquito populations in Hawaiʻi.
Please explore our website to learn more about the partnership, the birds being impacted, the mosquitoes transmitting disease, and the Incompatible Insect Technique (mosquito birth control).
Mosquito Birth Control
Mosquitoes carry serious diseases including avian malaria, which threatens to drive many native Hawaiian forest bird species to extinction in the next few years.
To combat this problem, scientists have developed a method to transfer a naturally-occurring “birth control” bacteria to local mosquitoes in a lab. Only male mosquitoes, which don’t bite birds or people and therefore don’t transmit diseases, would be released. These male mosquitoes would mate with wild female mosquitoes, but their eggs would not hatch.
This safe, targeted techniques could drastically reduce mosquitoes in our forests and potentially save our birds from extinction.
ʻapapane © Jack Jeffrey
© MFBRP; Silver Moon Art & Design
The Native Forest Birds of Hawaiʻi
Historically, more than 50 different honeycreepers lived in Hawai’i, filling forests from the sea to the mountains with their songs. Today, only 17 species remain- with many in critical numbers.
© Ana Ramirez
Invasive Mosquitoes in Hawaiʻi
A total of six mosquito species that bite humans and animals occur in Hawai’i. Two mosquito species are responsible for spreading deadly diseases which threaten human health and the extinction of native forest birds.
© World Mosquito Program
Wolbachia: Bacteria to the Rescue
The Incompatible Insect Technique uses a naturally-occurring bacteria called Wolbachia to interrupt mosquito reproduction and reduce mosquito population.