The insecticide causes the number of bees to drop sharply and concerns about destruction of ecosystems are spreading. However, victims of pesticides are not only silkworms. The influence of migratory birds on breeding grounds and wintering sites is also affected. It reveals the seriousness of the neonicotinoid, the main culprit that kills the ecosystem.
According to a new study, birds poisoned by neonicotinoids lost their sense of direction and suffered significant weight loss. Neonicotinoids are found in nicotine-based nerve stimulating insecticides and are currently the most widely used in the world.
In particular, environmental activists have pointed out that in recent decades there have been rapid population declines in farmland birds in Europe and North America. A study published in the Netherlands in 2014 shows that populations of starlings, sparrows and swallows in regions where neonitinoid contamination was highest were sharply reduced. The European Union has banned the use of three neonitinoids in crops for bee and other pollutants in 2013, but has not seen much benefit. The EU is considering a total ban on outdoors in the future. Canada also plans to ban the use of widely used pesticides.
The new study analyzed the effect of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on white-crowns sparrow. This sparrow travels from the United States and southern Mexico to northern Canada in the summer. When researchers injected less than one grain of corn seed into birds, the sparrow lost energy and caused gastrointestinal problems in less than an hour. It was enough to stop feeding. Body weight decreased by about 17-25% depending on dose and did not identify the north direction of where he should fly. No problems were found with birds without pesticides.
Birds affected by insecticides regained weight and sense of direction after 14 days. But researchers Christy Morissy of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada pointed out that birds are affected by breeding even after a few days of delays in flight.
Insecticides penetrating the entire plant
Since neonitinoids usually penetrate seeds, their effects can spread throughout the plant. In particular, birds such as house sparrows and blackbirds, including deer, raccoons, and rabbits, who live on land, can eat seeds shed on the ground, causing serious problems in the ecosystem. Migratory birds are particularly susceptible to harm. Because the sparrows migrate when the seeds are sown. According to Morissay, neonicotinoids are generally administered in spring, when migratory birds pass through the area. They are settled on farmland to rest or to provide intermediate fuel.
However, Bayer, a maker of this pesticide, is defending it. It is possible to minimize the impact on the environment by the brand. The company also claims that birds usually remove the pesticide-applied crust when they eat seeds and that they are seriously considering the safety and environmental impact of their products. The research team is measuring insecticide levels in the blood of sparrows to assess contamination levels.
Insecticide Insect eater, insect eater
According to a study published in 2014, at least 95% of pesticides applied to crops killed insects that feed on birds and spread the damage more extensively. Haddecron, an ecologist at the Radbaut in the Netherlands, who was studying at the time, pointed out that the high level of pollution of neonicotinoids was among the most common causes of bird population decline.
In addition, the population of birds has declined by a whopping 30% over ten years with only 20 ng (nanograms) of neonicotinoids in water pollution. In some areas, the level of pollution is 50 times higher, suggesting a depressing outlook that pesticides will not affect only birds. In the end, toxic substances that kill insects can not escape the vicious circle, which leads to a decrease in insect-eating creatures.