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Decline in Birds, Not Just Bees, Linked to Neonicotinoid Pesticides


Green Lifestyle  (tags: pesticides, greenliving, eco-friendly, neonicotinoids, organic, garden, environment, bees, birds, sustainable )

Michael
- 162 days ago - cbc.ca
It's not just the bees that are harmed by controversial crop pesticides called neonicotinoids - the birds are also disappearing in places where there are high concentrations of the pesticide in the environment, a new study suggests.



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Comments

Michael O. (175)
Monday July 14, 2014, 6:57 pm
The study led by researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands compared concentrations of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid measured in lakes and other surface waters around the Netherlands to local changes in 15 farmland bird species from 2003 to 2010.

They found that in areas where concentrations of the pesticide were more than 20 nanograms per litre, populations of birds such as barn swallows, tree sparrow and common starlings fell 3.5 per cent a year, compared to the average population trend for their species. They published their findings in the most recent issue of the journal Nature.

"Neonicotinoids were always regarded as selective toxins. But our results suggest that they may affect the entire ecosystem," said Hans de Kroon, a co-author of the paper, in a news release from Radboud University.

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been used since 1995 in the Netherlands and are also commonly used in North America. They are typically coated on agricultural seeds for crops such as corn and canola to protect the plants from insect pests such as aphids. Studies showing harmful effects of the pesticides in bees have prompted the European Commission to introduce a partial, temporary ban on three kinds of neonicotinoids, including imidacloprid, in Europe.

Neonicotinoids act as a neurotoxin for insects, but previous studies have shown they're not very toxic to birds. Because of that, the Dutch researchers think the decline in birds is probably due to pesticides unintentionally killing off the insects they rely on to feed their young during the breeding season.

However, they said they can't rule out the possibility of other ways the pesticide may be affecting birds, such as through direct ingestion. According to a study published by Environment Canada researcher Pierre Mineau in 2013, at a single kernel of imidacloprid-treated corn can kill small and "blue jay-sized birds," and sicken larger ones. However, in the Dutch study, all the birds either ate exclusively insects or fed their young exclusively insects during the breeding season.

In a video posted by Radboud University, de Kroon said his team "looked very thoroughly" for other possible factors besides neonicotinoid pesticides that could explain the results.

"Our analysis shows that based on our data imidacloprid was by far the best explanatory variable for differences in trends between areas," he added.

The researchers discovered the trend by looking at bird count data along with data about imidacloprid concentrations in waterways collected by the local water boards. While many bird species started declining before farmers started using imidacloprid in 1995, local differences in their decline didn't appear until after that time.

In an analysis piece accompanying the paper in Science, University of Sussex biologist Dave Goulson, who studies bees and other insects, noted that only five per cent of imidacloprid applied to crops is actually taken up by the crops themselves. The rest blows away or gets washed into waterways, and may get taken up by other plants.

A number of other researchers have previously suggested that neonicotinoids could be having a negative effect on birds, including Mineau and University of Saskatchewan biologist Christy Morrissey.

 

B Lewenza (76)
Monday July 14, 2014, 7:23 pm
Noted Thanks for sharing Michael It's so funny that you posted this I was just saying the other day that I felt that the bird decline was a possible reasoning behind the bird decline. About six years ago they were saying that the birds were dying due to mosquitoes but I never believed that and sure enough the culprit rears it's ugly head. SAD
 

Natasha Salgado (579)
Monday July 14, 2014, 8:31 pm
All chemicals must be stopped-there's natural alternatives available without killing our pollinators+birds. Thx Michael
 

M Away M. (461)
Monday July 14, 2014, 9:42 pm
TU for always putting out all information for people so they do NOT have to take a look at article...I will LOOK since I adore your NEWS~~~~For now I have Noted this with a TON OF THANKS FOR ALL YOU POST WHEN I TAKE A PEEK IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

M Away M. (461)
Monday July 14, 2014, 9:44 pm
Wonderful article/video TU
 

Ana MESNER (236)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 12:45 am
Noted :(
Thank you for posting Michael .
 

A F. (132)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 1:45 am
:(
 

Sam E M. (0)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 4:51 am
Quote: "...only five per cent of imidacloprid applied to crops is actually taken up by the crops themselves. The rest blows away or gets washed into waterways, and may get taken up by other plants."
So 95% is directly poisoning the environment without even protecting the targeted plants, this is too stupid for words.
 

Fi T. (16)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 6:32 am
The human are dying very soon
 

Robert O. (12)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 9:56 am
Horrible! Thanks Michael.
 

Katherine May Williams (0)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 10:58 am
Noted.
 

gabriele jefferson (148)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 12:09 pm
noted, shared on fb, twitter, g+, thx.
 

Kate Kenner (212)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 3:26 pm
It only takes one seed kernel to kill a bird. Monsanto, although they say they do not make neonics, they do sell seeds with them. The person I heard on the radio send to want make it cleat that Monsanto does not make this toxin as if that exonerates them somehow.
Fi T., I sure hope so as we have done such an incredible amount of damage in such a relatively short time.
 

Birgit W. (152)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 3:56 pm
I agree with Natasha Salgado. Thank you Michael.
 

Rosa Caldwell (398)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 6:17 pm
I find this very sad.
 

Carol French (125)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 7:49 pm
Heck I didnt know that the neonics In pesticides were killing birds also. Now I hear that there is another toxic ingredient in there! , God help the insects & anlmals !!!
 

Theresa Robinson (61)
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 9:02 pm
SO DAMN SAD! I'M SURE THIS KILLER POISON IS GOING TO START KILLING MANY OTHER SPECIES AND ANIMAL'S ,AND WHO KNOW'S THIS SEEMS TO BE SPREADING SO FAST IT'S GOING TO DO A LOT OF HARM TO US AND OUR CHILDREN,ALSO PREGNANT WOMEN. (JUST SAYING) THANKS A BUNCH FOR SHARING THIS VERY IMPORTANT KILLER WITH US ALL MICHAEL KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. Theresa R. I KNOW HOW THESE PEOPLE WORK AND LIKE TO WITH HOLD IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM US. LIKE OUR GOVERNMENT'S DO TO US MOST OF THE TIME.
 

Yvonne Egan (35)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 1:23 am
It's obvious that other species will be affected by these poisons including ourselves. What on Earth are we doing to the planet and all it's inhabitants who share it? We humans are doing so much harm, it's frightening for the future of our families. I have a lovely 5 month old Granddaughter who will see the results of our stupid ways, unless it stops now. Very worried.
 

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (44)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 1:25 am
Sadly noted. Thank you Michael.
 

Franck R. (54)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 4:30 am
:-(
 

Ruth S. (298)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 5:27 am
I agree with Natasha.
 

Panchali Yapa (19)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 11:43 am
Thank you
 

Marlene Puaoi (23)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 1:41 pm
Not since Rachel Carson wrote of the disastrous effects of DDT in "Silent Spring" has our ecology been so threatened. The birds and the bees must trump corporate profits!
 

Peggy Peters (2)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 6:27 pm
This is really frightening!
 

Charlie Rush (66)
Wednesday July 16, 2014, 7:40 pm
I'm sure pesticides are safe; we just don't breathe properly.
 

Carol French (125)
Friday July 18, 2014, 8:18 pm
Did we need a study to know that using pesticides with neonics in them would get in the plants & therefore the insects who eat the plant, the birds who eat the insects & it could even go to our animals??????
Got You Thinking Yet!!!??????
 

Panchali Yapa (19)
Sunday July 20, 2014, 7:20 am
Thank you
 
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