Community Engagement Strategy for Avian Malaria Solutions
Photo: Fabrice/Flickr

Developing a community engagement strategy for solutions to avian malaria

Grant Type: 

  • Network Innovation

Fellows: 

Award Date: 

February 2018

Amount: 

$5,000

Location: 

Hawaii

Avian malaria, spread by mosquitoes, is having a rapid and profound effect on Hawaii's forest bird populations, with some at risk of extinction.  Three Switzer Fellows will lead the development of a strategy to engage local Hawaiian communities in a proposed solution to the spread of the disease.  A new biotechnological solution, called the Wolbachia sterile insect technique, has shown promise in other areas in controlling mosquito populations that spread disease to humans.  Research now underway in Hawaii has shown that the technique holds promise to control the mosquitoes which spread avian malaria.  Before any implentation takes place, it is essential to engage local communities in understanding the importance of stemming the spread of this disease which is decimating bird populations, and in understanding the basic mechanics of the proposed biotechnological solution.  Partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaiian state agencies, and American Bird Conservancy, Switzer Fellows Brad Keitt, Jonathan Scheuer, and Jason Delborne will develop an outreach and engagement plan using their distinct skills and platforms, and knowledge of Hawaiian culture.  

 

Original Grant Proposal: 

Spotlight on Leadership

A century ago, we tried desperately to wipe out mountain lions in North America, and failed. Then American culture changed. In the mid-20th century, we offered mountain lions limited protection in the form of managed hunting. As a consequence, mountain lion populations rebounded far more successfully than anyone would have predicted, and probably more than many would have liked. Today, mountain lions are as abundant as they ever were in the West, and people are faced with a new reality. Can we peacefully coexist with such a successful predator? Mark Elbroch's new book, The Cougar Conundrum, is being published by Island Press on August 13th.Read more >

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