Forest Clearing Increases Malaria
The clearing of tropical forests is linked to an almost 50 percent increase in cases of malaria. So say researchers who have studied data from 54 of Brazil’s health districts along with satellite images that document logging operations. The main carrier of malaria in the region studied is a mosquito known as Anopheles darlingi. “The deforested landscape, with more open spaces and partially sunlit pools of water, appears to provide ideal habitat for this mosquito,” says Sarah Olson, lead author of the report. Malaria hot spots were found to correspond to areas in which there is the greatest destruction of the forest.