‘I‘iwi. PC: Robby Kohley.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is the lead state agency for the protection of our unique, imperiled forest birds. A major threat to Hawaiʻi’s birds comes from mosquitoes, which carry serious diseases including avian malaria. As temperatures warm, mosquitoes can live at higher elevations and bring avian malaria into our mauka forests, the last refuge of many of our forest bird species. To combat this problem, scientists have developed a method to transfer a naturally-occurring “birth control” bacteria to local mosquitoes in a lab. This safe, targeted technique could drastically reduce mosquitoes in our forests and potentially save our birds from extinction.

DLNR is a founding member of the Birds Not Mosquitoes partnership, a collaboration of State, Federal, and private, non-profit partners evaluating the potential for control of mosquitoes on a landscape-scale in Hawaiʻi. The Birds Not Mosquitoes partnership has developed its own website at birdsnotmosquitoes.org, where users can find information about Hawaiʻi’s forest birds, mosquitoes, and “mosquito birth control,” also known as Incompatible Insect Technique. DLNR may post some agency-specific materials on this page, but interested readers should visit the Birds Not Mosquitoes website for more information.


The DLNR video news release below provides additional information about some of the research that goes into developing a mosquito birth control.