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Abstract

The Influence of Juvenile Fish (Oreochromis niloticus) on Population Density of Pond Breeding Mosquitoes in the Degraded Wetlands of Yala Swamp, Western Kenya

The study whose findings are presented in this paper aimed to assess the potential of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) juveniles to cause a significant reduction in larval population of mosquitoes breeding in the ponds. Mosquitoes always raise a concern for public health where they occur, as in Yala swamp. Edible fish can be an incentive for promoting both socioeconomic and ecologically appropriate mosquito management practice, in a setting where resource poor communities can be proactively involved. Field experiments were conducted from April to August 2006 in three habitats (transient pools, control and experimental ponds) located within a disturbed wetland of Yala swamp. Fingerlings of Nile tilapia were introduced into one of the ponds and mosquito sampling commenced in both control and experimental ponds a week after the introduction of fish. We analyzed data for mosquito larval population mean differences in three habitats between two periods (long rains and dry spell). The results show that Anopheles gambiae ssp was the most abundant in transient pools followed by control Pond, while fish stocked Pond had significantly lower abundance. Unlike transient pools, the association (r = 0.466) between increased larval density and dry season in ponds was highly significant (P = 0.02). These results suggest that effective use of fish for mosquito control in ponds should be limited to a period immediately following heavy rains.


Author(s): Nina Pius Mbuya* and Eliezer Kateyo

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