Logging in the Amazon Leads to Increase in Malaria

Destruction of the Amazon rainforest is encouraging the spread of malaria, according to new research based on data from Peru. Every 1 percent boost in deforestation increases the number of malaria-bearing mosquitoes by 8 percent, seemingly because these mosquitoes thrive in ponds that are exposed to sunlight, said lead researcher Jonathan Patz of Johns Hopkins University. Patz is part of a growing “conservation medicine” movement that studies the effects of environmental degradation on the health of humans and animals, from the impact of pollution on cancer rates to the relationship between climate change and disappearing amphibians. “Everything we look at is common sense, but it’s so massively overlooked it’s unbelievable,” said Peter Daszak, head of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, part of the Wildlife Trust.