Friday, August 29, 2014

It’s Not Just the Bees – Pesticides Wiping Out Birds Too

http://themindunleashed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/insecticides.png 

Netherlands researchers fear the second coming of Silent Spring.

“Neonicotinoids were always regarded as selective toxins. But our results suggest that they may affect the entire ecosystem,” says Hans de Kroon of Radboud University and co-author of a study recently published in Nature journal.

It’s not just the bees. There are at least two ways that neonicotinoid pesticides dramatically affect the bird population.

Neonicotinoids are growing in the world market to become the most widely used pesticides and are often used to treat seeds – which makes the entire plant contain the chemical. (Yes, that means it doesn’t wash off) This might be useful to the farmer who wishes to target multiple pests such as those that eat roots and others that devour leaves, but that also means pollinators like bees get exposed to contaminated pollen, butterflies to nectar and birds can become immobilized or die after consuming treated seeds. Furthermore, they get into surface water in a variety of ways and build up and persist in the soil for years.

This study focused on multiple bird species that only consumed insects. So, we are talking about wildlife birds, which makes the findings even more perturbing to the researchers. It found that neonicotinoids affected their population in two ways: directly in large doses found in their waterways, and by killing off the insects that make up their food supply. They reminisce “the effects of persistent insecticides in the past” and highlight the “potential cascading effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystems.” 

For the rest of the story:http://themindunleashed.org/2014/07/just-bees-pesticides-wiping-birds.html

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