Does your stormwater breed mosquitoes?

Written by Jayne Hanford (@permiepedalers), PhD Candidate, The University of Sydney

for the National Science Communication Challenge

Does this wetland in Centennial Park, Sydney, have high biodiversity? Does it produce many mosquitoes? (Image: Jayne Hanford)

Does this wetland in Centennial Park, Sydney, have high biodiversity? Does it produce many mosquitoes? (Image: Jayne Hanford)

 

Urban wetlands can be useful for treating our stormwater and protecting urban wildlife.

Why do some wetlands have lots of mosquitoes while others do not?

Urban wetlands are a popular and effective method for improving the quality of our stormwater.

Wetlands are also built in urban areas as attractive additions to parks and recreation areas.

These urban wetlands also provide habitat and food resources for urban wildlife, and support urban biodiversity.

Urban wetlands are built for many purposes to benefit humans and wildlife, but can also breed lots of annoying mosquitoes

Urban wetlands also have the potential to breed large mosquito populations, which are not only annoying but can carry diseases such as dengue and Ross River virus.

To conserve and encourage wildlife and biodiversity in our urban areas, we need to understand how wetlands built for differrent purposes differ in terms of their biodiversity.

We also need to understand how this relates to mosquito populations, so that we can minimise potential risks to public health.

By understanding how urban wetlands are different, we can increase urban biodiversity and decrease mosquito health risks

With increasing urbanisation, this information is key in designing urban conservation networks that maintain biodiversity in our growing cities.

It is important for us to identify what makes some wetlands more valuable for our urban wildlife than others, and how this relates to mosquito risks to public health.

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