iNaturalist Mosquitoes in Hawaii project
Imagine an island paradise, free of mosquitoes. That was Hawaii before 'makika' were first introduced by tall ships filling their water barrels around 1826. Hawaii is now home to six invasive species of mosquitoes. These species can transmit harmful diseases: from Dengue virus that recently affected over 260 Hawaiians and visitors alike to avian malaria that continues to devastate endangered endemic Hawaiian birds! Mosquitoes are widespread and tiny and it takes a concerted effort just to find out where each species hangs out. Once located, suppressing populations requires cleaning up breeding sites and more.
What can we do about it? The Mosquitos in Hawaii project was formed to identify where each mosquito species resides. This citizen science project, established in May 2015, is powered by the primary social network for natural history: iNaturalist. The iNaturalist app allows individuals to take a photo of any living thing and upload it to the cloud to be identified by thousands of volunteers worldwide. By joining the mosquito project people can share their observations and by using a state-of-the-art web portal (iNaturalist) help identify mosquitoes in the communities.
Mosquito sampling sites by Biology students from ‘Iolani School showing location of Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. All data submitted to iNaturalist.