At least 314 species of American birds are expected to lose 50 per cent or more of their range by the end of the century, and have been listed by the Audubon Society as endangered. A United Nations science report says 1 million species of plants and animals are at risk of going extinct. Most at risk are sea birds and grasslands birds, experts say. Birds known as aerial insectivores, like swifts (Apus apus) and nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) , are at risk because the insects they depend on are getting harder to find.
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.
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.
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 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.
In this study, the survival of macroinvertebrates after exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide was modelled using TKTD models from the General Unified Threshold models of Survival (GUTS) framework. The models were calibrated on existing survival data from acute or chronic tests under static exposure regime.
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.
This study aims to determine the degree of acetylcholinesterase inhibition and neurological symptoms for each of the psychiatric disorders diagnosed in the farm workers of a rural population in the state of Baja California, Mexico. We conducted a cross-sectional study on 140 agricultural workers (exposed participants). The study was run using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview Diagnostic Test (MINI), a pre-established questionnaire to diagnose the mental state of each agricultural worker. Analysis of enzymatic activity was carried out using the modified Ellman method.
We examined the association between exposure to chlorpyrifos and ADHD symptoms among adolescents in Egypt. Adolescent pesticide applicators and non-applicators, 12-21 years old, participated in a 10-month longitudinal study examining health effects from pesticide exposure. Repeated urine and blood samples were collected at various time points during the 10-months to assess biomarkers of chlorpyrifos exposure (urinary trichloro-2-pyridinol or TCPy) and effect (blood acetyl cholinesterase activity and butyryl cholinesterase activity).
The ecological impacts of insecticides in aquatic areas around agricultural lands have long been ignored in the regulation scheme of pesticides in Japan. Upon the scheme, the predicted concentration of an insecticide in the main stream of a river is the only parameter considered, suggesting that the ecological impacts of insecticides on local biodiversity around agricultural fields is underestimated. To fill this knowledge gap, we measured insecticide concentrations in surface water and sediment in aquatic areas around paddy fields at 35 locations across Japan.