# Saturday, 20 August 2011

According to this article our native birds are facing an increased threat from malaria. It seems mosquitoes are doing particularly well in the UK due to the warm and wet conditions. It is this rise that is leading to increased cases of malaria in birds. Around 30 species of birds are affected and growing numbers are dying. It is thought that 30% of UK house sparrows are infected with malaria compared with 10% in 1990. Two thirds of tawny owls are affected and 15% of great tits. The disease whilst not always fatal does now appear to be a significant factor in the decline of our birds. Whilst this type of disease can not be transmitted to humans the latest analysis carried out on malaria infection rates suggest that increases in global temperatures could eventually lead to a return of human malaria to northern Europe.