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For a better production, agriculture areas need to recover at least 20% of natural habitat

International agreements aim to conserve 17% of Earth's land area by 2020 but include no area-based conservation targets within the working landscapes that support human needs through farming, ranching, and forestry. Through a review of country-level legislation, this study found that just 38% of countries have minimum area requirements for conserving native habitats within working landscapes. The study argues for increasing native habitats to at least 20% of working landscape area where it is below this minimum. Such target has benefits for food security, nature's contributions to people, and the connectivity and effectiveness of protected area networks in biomes in which protected areas are underrepresented. Other urgings of the review include maintaining native habitat at higher levels where it currently exceeds the 20% minimum, and a literature review shows that even more than 50% native habitat restoration is needed in particular landscapes. Including a >20% native habitats within working landscapes restoration target offers an unrivaled opportunity to simultaneously enhance biodiversity, food security and quality of life. The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is an opportune moment to include a minimum habitat restoration target for working landscapes that contributes to, but does not compete with, initiatives for expanding protected areas, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. informacion[at] Garibaldi et al (2020) Working landscapes need at least 20% native habitat. Conserv Letter DOI: 10.1111/conl.12773
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Mosquitoes are attracted to Plasmodium-infected birds

Mosquitoes are attracted to Plasmodium-infected birds

Parasites can manipulate their hosts to increase their transmission success. Avian malaria parasites (Plasmodium) are thought to alter the cues such as host odour, used by host-seeking mosquitoes. Bird odour is affected by secretions from the uropygial gland and may play a role in modulating vector-host interactions. The hypothesis tested was  that mosquitoes are more attracted to the uropygial secretions and/or whole-body odour (headspace) of Plasmodium-infected house sparrows (Passer domesticus) than to those of uninfected birds. The attraction of nulliparous (e.g. uninfected mosquitoes without previous access to blood) Culex pipiens females towards these stimuli was tested in a dual-choice olfactometer. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS) analyses were used to assess whether Plasmodium infection is associated with differences in the chemical composition of uropygial secretions. Mosquitoes were more attracted to the odours of infected than uninfected birds, regardless of sex. However, the significant interaction between infection status and the stimuli (uropygial secretion or headspace) showed that mosquitoes were more attracted to the headspace of infected birds; no differences were found in the case of uropygial secretions. The compounds in the volatile lipophilic fraction of the uropygial secretion did not differ between infected and uninfected birds. These results support the host manipulation hypothesis since avian Plasmodium parasites may be capable of altering their host's body odour, thereby making infected individuals more attractive to mosquitoes. informacion[at] Díez-Fernández et al (2020) Mosquitoes are attracted by the odour of Plasmodium-infected birds. International J Parasitology. DOI 10.1016/j.ijpara.2020.03.013