Manage nuisance-biting mosquitoes at Bandon Marsh without using harmful insecticides
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The Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is the last substantial tract of salt marsh in Oregon’s Coquille River estuary. It is home to shrimp, salmon, and bald eagles, and is a stopover point for thousands of migrating birds to rest and feed.
USFWS is proposing to use multiple insecticides to kill mosquitoes at Bandon Marsh, even though there is no risk of mosquito-borne disease in the county.
USFWS is taking public comments on the issue until April 9th.
The plan contravenes the existing national wildlife refuge mosquito management policy, which states “we will allow populations of native mosquito species to function unimpeded unless they cause a human and/or wildlife health threat.’’
Using multiple pesticides at the Bandon Refuge to manage an outbreak of nuisance-biting mosquitoes, with no declared endpoint for treatment, sets a dangerous precedent for refuges around the United States.
USFWS must adopt an environmentally sound mosquito management plan that relies on the reduction of newly-created breeding habitat and uses only targeted application of the biological control agent Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) when ongoing surveillance efforts find that numbers of mosquito larvae have exceeded a set threshold.
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