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Survey for Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito in Wairau

Media release

18 May 2004

Survey for Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito in Wairau complete.

The initial delimiting survey for the Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito in the Marlborough wetlands has been completed, the Ministry of Health said today.

“Several specimens of what we believe are Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito have been found during the delimiting survey and these have been sent for confirmatory identification, said Chief Technical Officer Sally Gilbert.

Surveying for the mosquito was carried out in the Wairau estuarine areas and as far south as Lake Grassmere and to selected areas in the Pelorous Sound, Queen Charlotte Sound and Port Underwood.

Ms Gilbert said the information found by the initial survey, as to where the mosquitoes were found, and how many were found, will give the insect ‘footprint’ that will be fed into a geographical information system (GIS) to assist in an enhanced mapping system of where the infestation areas are.

“This will take several days but will give us a better idea of what other habitats the mosquito might be found in and we will survey these areas also. Ms Gilbert said some areas were dry at the time of survey and we will resurveyed when they are next inundated with water.

The Nelson Marlborough Public Health service has installed a number of sentinel traps in various locations to catch adult mosquitoes throughout the region. Any mosquitoes caught in these traps will also be sent for identification.

The data being acquired will be critical in the development of the advice, which the Ministry’s technical experts and officials will deliver to the government.


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