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Mosquito fish may be wiping out amphibians

a area, numbers of Pacific and California treefrogs, and California newts, may be declining because they haven't had time to evolve defences to mosquito fish. Kats believes that the same is probably true for amphibians elsewhere. California treefrogs are already being considered for protected status.

Kats adds that in many places the fish are given out freely to the public to distribute, and they often end up in areas that don't have a mosquito problem. "These fish are still being used. It's not a one-time mistake, it's an 80-year mistake," he adds.

However, mosquito control expert Chris Curtis of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine cautions that alternative methods of mosquito controls, such as insecticide spraying, may be just as environmentally damaging. "We have to be careful about downgrading what is a pretty useful control," he says.


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Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-171-331-2751
New Scientist
25-Aug-1999


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