The world’s deadliest animal
Do you know what the deadliest animal on earth is? … it’s the mosquito!
Over the last ten years the increase in mosquito-borne diseases has increased significantly in Australia and is expected to continue. We are home to over 300 varieties of mosquito but there are more than 3,500 species worldwide.
This month is Mozzie Month and today I joined the Mozzie Monitors citizen science based mosquito surveillance program which runs until 16 March via the fabulous iNaturalist app (which I’m using almost daily to identify plants, funghi, insects ….) It aims to increase scientific knowledge about mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases amongst the public, and generate information which can be used to improve public health. All you have to do is photograph any you see and upload the photos to the iNaturalist app or website.
“There is evidence that several diseases are going to emerge and re-emerge in new areas in the future, due to increasing globalisation, human mobility and climate change. As there is no vaccine for the most of these diseases, the most effective way to prevent them still relies on controlling mosquito populations. To do that, it’s crucial to understand the mosquito fauna in each local community and how these populations fluctuate throughout the year.
Monitoring urban mosquitoes is essential to establishing early warning systems to predict disease risks and mitigate them.” (Mozzie Monitors)
This is an excellent video explaining why the Mozzie Monitors Citizen Science program is so critically important:
Anyone can join Mozzie Monitors. You just need to have an account on iNaturalist (inaturalist.org) and submit your observations of mosquitoes. These data are valuable to explore species diversity and distribution. You can use either the app or the web-based platform. Check out how to upload an observation on iNat here
A community aware of disease risk is a community able to take actions to eliminate container-breeding sites and report the occurrence of invasive species in their local areas. (Mozzie Monitors)
Because it’s been bucketing down with rain most of today, there haven’t been many mozzies to photograph but I have been honing my observations and learning which insects AREN’T mozzies! Some I photographed LIVE, others I’ve discovered in spider webs around the house.
Through iNaturalist I learnt that this one (from one of my spider webs), with beautifully marked wings, is actually a crane fly: Genus Discobola!
The ones below are probably midges.
Today I’ve also learnt that microbats eat around 1000 mosquitoes a night!
Join #AYearInADay Citizen Science Project to see if we can all inspire one another to do more to restore planetary health
We’d love you to collaborate with us and share any actions you take to restore planetary health in the comments below or on our social media. While we welcome you to share ANY ACTION you take to inspire others, we’ll be recording NEW or EXTRA actions that people take as part of our tally, because we’re trying to inspire one another to do more than we’re already doing. Feel free to copy some of the actions our participants have been sharing – the action only needs to be NEW for you. Let us know if other people are influenced by your posts, or ours, so that we can measure outcomes of this project. To leave a comment on this blog you’ll need to enter your name and email address.
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Ian · 06/03/2022 at 7:42 pm
As I stomp around the house effing and blinding about one particular political party or the other, or a particular social issue, my in-house moderator constantly reminds me to “seek first to understand and then be understood”. With what is sure to be increased public debate following catastrophic floods here in NSW and massive amounts of storm damage, I made my action today to re-engage with the reasons that there are divergences of opinion in many of the debates. To that end, I found an interesting article and I would encourage everyone to read it: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-017-1477-x