Farmland birds

We did not get our act together in time, and are travelling down another DDT precipice

A Dutch researcher, H Tennekes has made the case that neonicotinoids, a special group of insecticides, are causing a catastrophe in the insect world, which is having a knock-on effect for many of our birds. These chemicals were introduced in the 1990’s and it wasn’t long afterwards that beekeepers noticed massive declines in bee numbers (Colony Collapse Disorder). France banned the use of one of these chemicals on sun flower seed in 1999, and Germany and Italy have banned two types on maize.

Devon wildlife threatened by Extinction

At the recent Extinction Rebellion protest in Moretonhamstead as reported in the last edition of The Moorlander, one of the flyers the group were handing out brought attention to the worrying decline in Devon’s wildlife. A 90% decline in Greater Horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) has been seen, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos) no longer breed in Devon; the last pair was recorded in 1993.

Wildlife species in danger of disappearing from East Anglia

Experts from Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Buglife and the RSPB have all pointed to species in danger of disappearing from East Anglia. They include stone curlew - only 202 pairs nested in the East of England last year; the shrill carder bee - common in the region 25 years ago but now found only in the Thames Gateway area; and the crested cow-wheat - a plant limited to a small number of roadside verges because grassland has disappeared to farming or construction. Indeed, habitat destruction and human disturbance are cited as the two most common reasons these species are on the brink.

The Curlew in steep decline in Wales

The latest Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) report, published today, shows that the Welsh breeding Curlew population has fallen by 68% between 1995 and 2017, not good news for a bird that has long been associated with Welsh upland and farmland. As a result of the precipitous decline in breeding numbers, the Curlew (Numenius arquata) is one of UK’s most pressing conservation issues. Its decline in Wales is mirrored with an overall decline of 48% across the UK. It’s not good news for Welsh Swifts (Apus apus) either; their breeding population is down by 69% over the same period.

De Nederlandse ornitholoog die de gevaren van DDT en IMIDACLOPRID vroegtijdig onderkende

Natuurbeschermer Maarten Bijleveld (82) is al ruim vijftig jaar weg uit Nederland. Hij woont in Zwitserland, maar hij stond als student biologie aan de wieg van het Wereld Natuur Fonds in Nederland. „Ik ben de laatst levende medeoprichter.” Wat Bijleveld de afgelopen tien jaar vooral bezighoudt, is de strijd voor wetenschappelijke waarheid wat betreft de neonicotinoïden, neurotoxische bestrijdingsmiddelen die een „desastreuze” uitwerking hebben op de natuur. Bijleveld heeft het vorige week verschenen rapport van de Verenigde Naties over het dramatische verlies aan biodiversiteit gelezen.

De ramp neemt zijn loop en niemand houdt hem tegen

De Nederlandse toxicoloog Henk Tennekes beweert dat de neonicotinoïden verantwoordelijk zijn voor het enorme verlies van biodiversiteit. "Voor onze ogen", zegt Tennekes, "vindt de ecologische ineenstorting plaats", die de milieuramp met het insecticide DDT verre overtreft. De gevolgen, zoals Tennekes ze beschrijft, van de sterfte van insecten die vissen, vogels, amfibieën en reptielen beroven van voedsel.


Der niederländische Toxikologe Henk Tennekes behauptet, dass die Neonikotinoide generell verantwortlich sind für eine Verschärfung des Überlebenskampfes auf Feld und Wiese. „Vor unseren Augen“,sagt Tennekes, „findet der ökologische Kollaps statt“, einer, der womöglich das durch das Insektizid DDT einst verursachte Vogelsterben übertrifft. Folgen, wie Tennekes sie nicht nur für Feld-, sondern auch für Wasservögel beschreibt: Die Insektizide töten oder schwächen Insekten und rauben Vögeln die Nahrung.

Insecticide applications can depress yellowhammer breeding productivity

The UK population of yellowhammers (Emberiza citrinella) has declined since the mid‐1980s. Concurrent increases in the use of pesticides are believed to have reduced the availability of food resources for farmland birds, including yellowhammers. We studied nesting yellowhammers on a lowland arable farm in North Yorkshire between 2001 and 2003, to examine the effects of food abundance on breeding success and the effects of insecticide on food abundance.

'Catastrophe' as France's bird population collapses due to pesticides

Bird populations across the French countryside have fallen by a third over the last decade and a half, researchers have said. Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, the scientists said in a pair of studies – one national in scope and the other covering a large agricultural region in central France. “The situation is catastrophic,” said Benoit Fontaine, a conservation biologist at France’s National Museum of Natural History and co-author of one of the studies.