The Fire Island National Seashore mosquito surveillance and management program is the foundation for mosquito monitoring programs throughout the National Park Service (NPS). It was first implemented in 1998 in response to public concern over Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV), but was expanded in 1999 when West Nile virus (WNV) was discovered in New York. The goal of this program is to reduce human health risk from mosquito-borne diseases while adhering to the NPS legal mandate to protect the natural resources of the park.
From July to October, NPS biologists capture mosquitoes at various locations throughout Fire Island and have them tested for WNV. The park also monitors for dead birds that may have died from WNV, specifically crows (Genus Corvus), hawk species (Family Accipitridae), and blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata). Testing of mosquitoes and dead birds is accomplished through partnering with Suffolk County Vector Control (SCVC).
The results of the monitoring program help the park determine management actions in order to keep the public safe as well as protecting the park's natural resources. Management actions may include: notifying the public of potential health risks, conducting education programs, closing areas of the park to the public, and in most extreme cases, conducting pesticide applications.