I can see how this would be beneficial in the short term but surely the numbers would build up again pretty quickly if you stopped releasing the sterilised males. It's great to reduce the numbers though.
So how does an 80% drop in mosquito populations effect the populations of species that rely upon mosquitoes as a food source?
We may need to examine other options to minimise disease carying species, or their ability to extract blood from humans.
I always hold my breath a little when I read “Australia releases something into the environment to control....................”. Their track record is not good with these things. But, hope that it works out, less biting mosies sounds like a good idea.....probably !!
Ben Samways
Awesome. Better than DEET or spraying diesel ontop of waterways! Breaks the breeding cycle.
Reducing or eliminating the species is great, since so many people die from the virii they transmit. Now expand that program to cover all areas where aegypti roam.
So, what are they planning to feed the birds, bats, and dragonflies that feed on mosqutoes? After their experience with rabbits, one would think that Australians would know better than to go mucking about with nature in this haphazard way.
Don't bats eat mosquitos? Guess they're gonna have to evolve. And pretty darn quickly, it sounds like.
What about the animals that are dependent on mosquitos to survive like bats? Bats need huge swarms of mosquitos to eat. The mosquitos will return and the bats will be gone. One more screw up by environmentalists.
J Scott
As much as I would like a mosquito free environment in my backyard in Florida, this can't be a good solution - those bugs - larvae & adult- are the food source for other species.... Smart people. But not smart long-term.... (fisheries....)
Aedes aegypti is only one of many mosquito species in the environment and it originated in Africa, so it's actually a feral pest.
Also a news report about the Zika infestation said that in South America they regard the species as domesticated, as in only being found in or around human habitation. The researchers said they were unable to find Aedes aegypti in capture attempts in the jungle, so total elimination of the species would probably do no great harm.