New Zealand has 13 native, and three known introduced, species of mosquito. Mosquitoes are incredibly important to the health of New Zealand’s ecosystem, so by helping to map the country’s mosquito species, you can play an important role in protecting our whenua
whenualandMāori | Noun whenualandMāori and public health.
New Zealand’s mosquitoes
You might hate them, but mosquitoes are incredibly important to keep New Zealand’s ecosystem healthy. Not only are they part of the food chain but male mosquitoes are important pollinators.
We have 13 native mosquitoes in New Zealand – most of which mainly bite manu
manubirdsMāori | noun
manubirdsMāori | noun.
All 13 have very specific habitats and living conditions which means they are quite vulnerable to environmental changes compared to adaptable introduced species.
We know of three introduced mosquito species which have made their home in Aotearoa. Unfortunately, these three introduced species are the main nuisance human biters in New Zealand and have spread and established themselves – whereas native species are possibly in decline.
Lack of data
We currently don’t have enough data to be conclusive about our native species’ decline.
The limited data we have comes from our international air and sea ports. Mosquitoes are closely monitored at these ports so exotic mosquitoes can be detected quickly and eradicated before they can establish themselves.
But we have barely any data from the rest of New Zealand.
What we need you to do
This is where you come in. We’re asking Kiwis to help fill in the gaps to create a clearer picture of how our native mosquito species are doing, and where the introduced ones have spread.
We need the help of citizen scientists throughout the country to send us mosquito specimens so scientists can identify them.