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February 26, 2014
Service works with County to develop mosquito mgmt. plan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Coos County to develop a marsh and mosquito management plan

Bandon, Ore. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working closely with the Coos County Public Health Department, Coos County Commissioners, members of Congress, and experts in the field of mosquito control to develop an Integrated Marsh Management approach for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. The approach will reduce mosquito breeding pools by improving tidal flow and utilizing larvicides, when necessary, on the Ni-les’tun Unit of the refuge.
“Reducing the amount of mosquitoes at Bandon Marsh Refuge and at the same time improving fish and wildlife habitat is a priority,” said Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex project leader Roy Lowe. “The Service is funding the cost of both the habitat work and mosquito control on refuge lands.”

In addition to reducing the amount of mosquito breeding areas, the Integrated Marsh Management approach will improve the tidally driven hydrology of the Ni-les’tun Unit of the refuge, benefiting wildlife including migratory ducks and shorebirds and anadromous fish such as juvenile coho salmon. The plan calls for increasing the amount of tidal channels in the marsh, which will allow for better tidal flushing. Tidal flushing happens with high tide each day and refreshes the saltwater in the marsh. Mosquito larvae require stagnant pools to complete their development, so increased tidal flushing will prevent the mosquito larvae from becoming flying adults.

Habitat modification is the primary long term plan for managing mosquitoes at the refuge and the emphasis of the Integrated Marsh Management approach. However, the use of pesticides for mosquito control on refuge lands will also be proposed because the habitat work cannot be completed in time to prevent the expected fly-offs of mosquitoes later this spring. Consequently, to manage mosquitoes in the short term the Service is proposing to use larvicides that have minimal negative environmental effects to kill mosquitoes in their aquatic immature life stages before they can become flying adults.

“Coos County Public Health will be working with the Service to plan for appropriate mosquito control at Bandon Marsh Refuge. The County will be conducting mosquito monitoring and control on refuge lands aimed at protecting human and wildlife health from threats associated with mosquitoes,” said Coos County Public Health Administrator Nikki Zogg.

The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the Integrated Marsh Management approach, which includes a Draft Mosquito Pesticide Environmental Assessment and the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Phase 4 Tidal Marsh Restoration for Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, before they are final. The draft documents will be available in the coming weeks. The Service invites the public to review and comment on the draft documents and encourages active participation. To be added to the mailing list to receive the documents call the refuge office at (541) 867-4550 or email oregoncoast@fws.gov.

In 2011, Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge completed the restoration of 420 acres of historic tidal marsh. This tidal marsh restoration is the largest ever in Oregon and is already substantially benefitting fish and wildlife. However, an unanticipated by-product of the restoration was the large population increase of the salt marsh mosquito (Aedes dorsalis). No other salt marsh restoration effort in Oregon has experienced this issue before.

For more information on mosquitoes on the refuge, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/Mosquito.html
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:31 AM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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