San Juan – The Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust (FCTIPR in its Spanish acronym), in alliance with Para La Naturaleza, will put into effect a program that will allow citizen scientists to work on monitoring the Aedes aegypti mosquito populations in multiple areas of the island. Both organizations established a collaborative framework to create greater awareness regarding diseases transmitted by vectors.
What is a vector? A vector is a mechanism in which an organism transmits infectious diseases between people or animals and people. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector for dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
The Para la Naturaleza Citizen Science Program will provide support to the FCTIPR Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit with the purpose of obtaining field data necessary for determining the presence and distribution of mosquitos in relation to human populations.
Para la Naturaleza promotes the recovery of natural habitats in urban areas as a way of correcting the ecological imbalance we have created. For this, Para la Naturaleza will also help conserve and improve the habitat for natural predators of these insects, including coquis (arboreal frogs), bats and reptiles.
“We’re proud to able to collaborate with FCTIPR and involve our Citizen Scientists in the Aedes aegypti monitoring and evaluation process. It’s important to take measures that can improve habitats for natural predators that help control the mosquito population,” said Fernando Lloveras San Miguel, President of Para la Naturaleza.
Lucy Crespo, CEO del FCTIPR, expressed, ¨This alliance allows us to take our mission to the citizens – a mission to invest, facilitate and develop capacities that further the economy in Puerto Rico and the well-being of its people. The Para la Naturaleza Citizen Science program is aligned with the FCTIPR and Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit’s mission.”
We foresee this alliance extending for 3 años, starting March 2018. The Antiguo Acueducto del río Piedras facilities will serve as the inicial site for protocol development and trainings.
Previously, the project extended to other municipalities. Its expected that over 2,000 Para la Naturaleza volunteers will integrate as Citizen Scientists for this project, promoting their participation through citizen science and activities that contribute to nature conservation, as stated by the Para la Naturaleza vector project manager, Miriam Toro.
Those interested in joining the Para la Naturaleza Citizen Scientists program can call us at 787.722.5882 o write firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also register on our site, www.paralanaturaleza.org.
About Para la Naturaleza
Para la Naturaleza is a non-profit organization that integrates society with the conservation of natural ecosystems. Its goal is to make sure that the percentage of natural protected areas in Puerto Rico reaches 33% by 2033. Providing transformative experiences in nature to people and communities inspires them to make concrete actions to protect nature by donating time, money or land. In addition to organizing volunteer and educations events and fundraising campaigns, Para la Naturaleza protects more than 60 natural areas and receives the public at our visitor centers throughout Puerto Rico.
About the Vector Control Unit
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust works in collaboration with government agencies, municipalities and private entities to strengthen mosquito control programs en Puerto Rico. The Unit is able to support existing programs: providing training for the application of pesticides, equipment calibration, maintenance, security protocols, among others; sharing monitoring data to help make decisions; using our technological resources to integrate relevant data from different entities; and evaluating new products and tools.