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Disease-carrying Mosquitoes From Tourist Aircraft Threaten Galapagos Islands Wildlife

Mosquitoes with the potential to carry diseases lethal to many unique species of Galapagos wildlife are being regularly introduced to the islands via aircraft, according to new research.

The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, was previously thought to have been introduced to the Galapagos in a one-off event in the mid-1980s.

However, scientists from the University of Leeds, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the University of Guayaquil, the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation, have shown that the mosquito is regularly hitching a ride from the mainland and breeding with existing populations.

The sinister stowaways are also island hopping on tourist boats, meaning that incursions of mosquito-borne diseases are likely to spread throughout the archipelago.

Arnaud Bataille, a Leeds-ZSL PhD student who carried out the work said, "Our researc


Added: Aug-12-2009 
By: bommer1
Tags: Galapago's, Mosquitoes, Tourist, Exotic Species, Environment
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