As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Can genetically modified mosquitoes save Hawaii’s birds?



The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Vestiaria coccinea -Hawaii -adult-8 (3).jpgEcologist Eben Paxton, speaking on a cell phone from somewhere in one of Hawaii’s forests, wanted to talk about the scary events happening on the island of Kauai.

The “bird crash,” he calls it.

Hawaii’s fourth-largest island, says Paxton, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, is seeing a sudden, rapid decline in native birds.

The prime suspect is avian malaria. It’s being spread by mosquitoes and it kills rare birds such as the ‘i’iwi, a bright red honeycreeper with a curvy Dr. Seuss beak. Surveys carried out on the island’s rugged, roadless interior are finding fewer birds than ever before. Extinction for some species looks imminent.

So now a group of government officials, conservationists, and scientists in Hawaii are seriously looking at a high-tech solution: genetically modified mosquitoes.

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