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April 30, 2014
Mosquito Control at Bandon Marsh NWR Will Move Forward
Bandon, Ore. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final decision on its Integrated Marsh Management Approach to monitor and control mosquitoes at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The decision is based on the results of two environmental assessments that examined habitat modifications and the use of larvicides to control mosquitoes. The Service has issued Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) which describe the selected alternatives for both EAs.

Under the Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Tidal Marsh Restoration, the Service selected its preferred alternative (Alternative B). It will reduce mosquito breeding pools through improvement of tidal flow throughout the restored tidal marsh in the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Refuge. Eliminating mosquito habitat will prevent mosquito populations from expanding and will provide long-term control of mosquitoes. The work to expand the network of tidal channels is scheduled to begin in early summer 2014.

Under the Environmental Assessment for Mosquito Control, the Service selected Alternative B for implementation. Alternative B relies solely on the use of a naturally derived larvicide called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or Bti, to control mosquitoes on the refuge. Bti targets mosquito larvae and is not toxic to bees, moths, butterflies, fish, mammals, or birds. Under this selected alternative the Service will not use synthetic chemical larvicides (e.g. methoprene and CocoBearTM) to reduce mosquitoes on the Refuge. After evaluating public comments collected between March 11 and April 9, 2014 and discussion with mosquito experts, the Service determined that using Bti will effectively control mosquitoes on the Ni-les'tun Unit while posing a low risk to wildlife, their habitats, and the human environment.

"Our long term goal at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is to reduce mosquito breeding habitat, while also improving wildlife habitat on the Refuge," said Project Leader Roy Lowe. "To manage mosquito populations while those habitat modifications take place, Coos County Public Health will monitor mosquitos on the Refuge. They will treat with Bti when necessary to prevent larvae from hatching into adults and flying off of the refuge."

Monitoring, which began in early April and will continue throughout the summer, is a key component of the Integrated Marsh Management Approach. Results will be used to determine when and where to apply Bti. The Service expects this approach to minimize the number of adult mosquitoes being produced on the Refuge while using the least amount of larvicide necessary to accomplish the objective. Larvicide use will only occur on the Ni-les’tun Unit of the Refuge. The Service provided funding to Coos County Public Health to hire a field technician to monitor mosquitoes on the Refuge this season and to contract with Vector Disease Control, Inc. to apply Bti as needed on the Refuge.

"The Service will continue to coordinate closely with Coos County Public Health and Coos County Commissioners as we implement the Integrated Marsh Management Approach to mosquito control at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge," said Lowe.

Now that the final decision on the IMM Approach has been made, Coos County Public Health can begin mosquito control on the refuge when needed. The Service evaluated and responded to comments received on the EAs. This information, the EAs, FONSIs and more are available for review on the refuge’s mosquito web page www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html. You can contact the Refuge through email at oregoncoast@fws.gov or call 541-867-4550.

For more information on mosquitoes on the refuge, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html

Coos County Public Health: http://www.co.coos.or.us/Departments/PublicHealth.aspx
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 5:54 PM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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